Tips for preventing mold in your household

Tips for preventing mold in your household
Let’s face it - if you’re a homeowner who maintains their home themselves, there are few words that can make you cringe faster than ‘mold’. Sure, mold isn’t always a bad thing; for example, it was instrumental in the discovery of penicillin, and it’s what makes organic matter decompose all around nature. But when you see it in your home, it’s not only a pesky nuisance but a very dangerous thing, potentially. For one, it’s difficult to get rid of completely, and its spores easily spread around. That’s why we’re here with some tips for preventing mold in your household. 
 

Why is mold prevention important?

Once you move into a new home, one of the first things you should do is check for signs of mold. Even if you’ve just finished relocating overseas with ease, and you only see a tiny amount of mold in a neglected corner of the house, make sure you deal with it at once. Remember that mold can spread quite easily. And once it appears, you cannot get rid of it completely. 

A doctor in a laboratory

Mold can be extremely detrimental to your health!

Plus, it’s not as if mold can only grow in one specific place. It can develop basically anywhere - on paper, food, clothing, and even around areas that you can’t physically reach, like the spaces inside walls that surround condensing or leaking pipes. And such problem can be quite difficult to deal with, not to mention costly. On top of all that, it’s also quite bad for your health - it can trigger allergies and produce toxins that can permanently damage your health. So, with all of that in mind, what can you do about mold? Your best bet is preventing mold in your household before it ever appears. And there’s one crucial thing that helps prevent mold: proper control of moisture. 

Identify problematic areas

Let’s get one thing straight right away; no matter how hard you try, there’s no way of completely mold-proofing your household. Sooner or later, some form of mold may appear. But what you can do is reduce the likelihood of that happening to the absolute lowest. With that in mind, try to make your home as resistant to mold as possible. Start with an audit of your interior and exterior. Think about it - is your basement prone to flooding? Have you noticed a lot of condensation appearing on a particular window? Do you have water stains in some of the rooms due to a constant leak? 

Tools and pipes against a tile surface.

 

 

If you’re dealing with a damp basement, make sure there’s no carpeting there to soak up all of the moisture. Then, see if your gutters are in need of repair, and consider installing products that are designed for moisture resistance. Unfortunately, you may also need to redo the waterproofing of the basement, which may require a big excavation. But the most important thing for you to realize is that this is something you need to deal with as soon as you notice an issue. The last thing you want is to put off dealing with mold until it’s far too late to permanently get rid of it. 

Drying Damp Areas

As we’ve already mentioned, there’s no way mold will appear where there’s no moisture. Considering that, you need to tackle the damp areas as soon as possible. If you notice water accumulation due to leaky plumbing, or even a simple spill on your carpeting, make sure you’ve dried it completely within two days at most. Sure, dealing with flooding in your basement after a rainstorm can be difficult, but you don’t want to let mold appear and develop. In case of a flood, make sure you throw away any furniture, bedding, and carpeting if you don’t think you can dry it permanently. 

Proper Ventilation

If you’re serious about moisture prevention, you’ll need to be certain that your home ventilation is in a good state. Unfortunately, things that you consider daily domestic activities may be what’s causing the mold in the first place or at least helping it grow. Even doing laundry, having a bath, or making dinner can cause mold without proper ventilation. As you may have gathered, this is particularly important when it comes to high-moisture rooms like your laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom. If you need to vent appliances, don’t direct the heat to the attic or somewhere else inside the house; vent it to the outside. Also, if you’re living in a particularly humid climate, consider installing dehumidifiers around the house. 

Condensation on a window.

Make sure there’s no condensation due to improper ventilation!  

 

Monitor Humidity

As you may have realized, there aren’t many permanent, one-time fixes for preventing mold in your house. Indeed, not having mold means constantly being on the watch for excess moisture, and dealing with it swiftly and methodically. That’s why you need to monitor the humidity inside your home at all times. The Environmental Protection Agency actually has guidelines regarding moisture, and they recommend keeping it between 35% and 65%. Obviously, measuring moisture to that degree of accuracy will require additional hardware. But luckily, you can get a simple moisture meter at almost every hardware store in the country.

 

And even without one, you can still keep track of excessively high humidity by just looking at the areas you’ve identified as potentially problematic. Keep an eye out for window condensation, as well as moisture on walls and pipes. Should you notice any water, first dry the area right away, and then look for the source of the condensation.