Mold can be very costly to repair and the effects it can have on your health can be serious. We have put together a list of mold prevention tips to help keep your home and your family healthy.
Mold Prevention Tips
- When water leaks or intrusions occur, act quickly! Wet or damp material that is dried within 24 – 48 hours of the leak, in most cases, will NOT grow mold.
- Remove wet carpet or furniture that cannot be dried within 24 – 48 hours.
- Do not install carpet in areas of water usage such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
- Remove wet clothes from the washer promptly.
- Do not leave damp clothes or towels lying around.
- Keep indoor humidity levels below 60%. The ideal level is between 30 – 50%. Relative humidity can be measured by a moisture or humidity meter, a small and inexpensive instrument available at most hardware stores.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, act fast to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture or water source.
- Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to keep humidity low.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines free of obstructions.
- Be sure dryers, stoves, heaters and exhaust fans vent to the outside, not into the walls or attic.
- Use a bathroom exhaust fan or open the window when you shower.
- Dry shower walls after a shower.
- When cooking or using the dishwasher, use an exhaust fan or open the window.
- Keep furniture from blocking air returns and vents.
- Dust and vacuum often.
- Remove mold growing in the soil of houseplants.
- Clean and repair gutters regularly.
- Repair any roof leaks as soon as you discover them.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation so that water does not enter or pool around the foundation.
- Insulate cold surfaces such as cold water pipes to prevent condensation.
- Repair any plumbing leaks as soon as you find them.
- Use mold-resistant building materials when available.
- Install a vapor barrier in the crawlspace to prevent moisture from the ground.
- Keep the crawlspace and basement well ventilated.
- Ensure that the attic is properly ventilated and properly insulated.
More Mold Tips
In addition to tips for mold prevention, we have listed a few things you should not do when you have a mold infestation.
- Do not ignore the problem! It will not go away and will actually get worse! If the affected area is small enough, you can remediate the mold yourself. Any area larger than 10 square foot will require a mold remediation expert.
- Do not attempt to clean mold with bleach! Bleach will not penetrate a porous surface and is 97% water. The water component will provide moisture for mold to grow. This is a very ineffective way to treat mold as well as being a very corrosive chemical.
- Do not try to remove mold, even a small area, without proper protection.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Clean up the mold and dry the area before painting to avoid the paint from peeling.
Hopefully, these tips have given you a better understanding of mold and how to prevent it. For even more tips on mold prevention, check out these 25 Mold Facts That Everyone Should Know.