7 Tips to help you prevent mold.
Many homes are infected with mold and the residents do not even realize it and therefore do nothing to prevent it from continuing to spread.
Exposure to mold is common both inside and outside the home. Some people are more sensitive than others, especially those with allergies and asthma. Because some mold spores are very small and can be easily inhaled into the lungs, it is potentially harmful to live in a home with high mold levels. Exposure to high spore levels can cause the development of an allergy to mold.
Molds grow on organic materials such as paper, leather, dirt and soap scum. They grow best at warm, moist temperatures, between 72 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit ( 22 to 27 degrees Celsius)
How Do You Know if You Have Mold and What Do You Do?
The simplest way to detect a mold problem is using your own senses. A musty odor is one indication. Not only is mold smelly, but can be many different colors from black and gray to orange and green. Keep in mind not all mold will give off an odour so just because you don’t smell it doesn’t mean you don’t have it.
Most often people will recommend using bleach and water to be used to rid the house of mold, This is not recommended as the problem is this does not kill mold it renders it colourless and the mold will continue to grow. The only way to keep your house clean of mold is to prevent water damage from occurring.
Here are 7 helpful tips for mold prevention:
- Wet materials need to be dried quickly. If not, mold can start to grow within 24 hours. People are prone to leaving wet materials lying around in or outside the house. These are the most common places where mold can develop.
- Cleaning, disinfecting and drying surfaces prevents mold growth. Surfaces like sinks or floors and behind toilets are also favorite places for mold; more so if they are wet most of the time. Luckily these are typically non porous surfaces (tile, stone, laminate…) which makes them ideal for disinfectants and other cleaners. Some people consider the strongest and safest method of disinfecting to be a vapor steam cleaner. Once finished cleaning, make sure no moisture remains. Mold can grow faster than you think it can. These wet surfaces may pose many hazards for the residents living there.
- Reduce moisture levels in the bathroom by running an exhaust fan during and after showers. If you have noticed how foggy the bathroom looks after a shower, realize that those are moist places and a likely place for mold to develop. Exhaust fans can help minimize the moisture level in the bathroom as well as the possibility of growing mold.
- Fix plumbing leaks and seepage (move snow away from foundation) to prevent the buildup of moisture and prevent the growth of mold.
- Leaks can be caused by pipes that have started to disintegrate. It is important to replace old pipes as soon as they show signs of being dilapidated. No matter how much you try to keep the house clean, there are still areas that you may be neglecting. There will always be a possibility of the growth of mold if water or high humidity is present.
- Store clothing dry and clean to prevent the growth of mold on clothes. It is best to keep used clothes dry. Better yet, wet clothes should be hung to dry. Try to put them outside or in places where there is air circulating.
- Increase the flow of air within your home. Moving furniture away from walls and opening closet doors to permit air circulation limits the growth of mold. Confined spaces and dark areas should be kept ventilated. Open windows are preferable over fans and air conditioning, but the best air circulation is a Heating, Recirculation and Ventilation unit installed at the furnace. There should be a stable availability of fresh air coming inside the house to prevent mold.
- Prevent condensation. Insulating walls and installing storm or thermal pane windows keeps walls warm and limits condensation.
You may not realize it yet but those beautiful plants you have in your home could be harvesting unwanted friends and foes. Plants are great for helping to keep the air in the home clean but can also be a source of mold. Mildew likes to grow in the soil of our housing plants and sometimes on the leaves. Plants also create higher humidity within the built environment and high humidity can cause growth as well.