Mold Awareness Month: 10 Mold Prevention Tips
September serves a special role in protecting families across the nation as Mold Awareness Month. Mold growth is a common issue for homes in every climate, but mold can pose a real problem where it’s hot and humid. Families with asthma or allergy issues in properties where mold is present can suffer further issues as a result of a high spore count bothering them while they’re trying to rest. To spread awareness and provide help for people struggling with mold, here are ten mold prevention tips for Mold Awareness Month.
1. Know the Most Common Growth Areas
Mold thrives in a damp environment, so typical areas of growth are in the shower, beneath sinks, and in the basement. Keeping these key areas dry and disinfected is one of the best ways to stop mold before it gets out of hand and requires a more heavy-duty removal service. If your home suffers from leaks during storms, monitoring these frequently wet areas will also be instrumental in keeping your home safe.
2. Address Leaks as Soon as You See Them
Should you see a leak in your home, it is essential to address it as soon as possible. Leaks in the ceiling, roof, or basement typically present during rain, but running a bath or filling the sink can also make leaks apparent. If you notice damp areas on the carpet, beneath pipes, or along the edges of the walls, it’s time to break out a repair kit or contact a specialist.
3. Keep Your Gutters Clear Year-Round
Clogged gutters are a surprising culprit of mold growth in the home. If the gutter or downspout are blocked up with leaf litter and debris, the overflowing water from rain won’t be directed away from your home. Instead, the water will most likely pour-over and run to the foundation of your home, pooling around your house’s perimeter and finding any cracks and leaks to seep into. Keeping a clean gutter will ultimately be easier than attempting to repair and maintain a drenched foundation.
4. Check Your Dryer Vents Often
If you’ve noticed that the room your dryer is in is constantly humid when you run the machine, it’s a sign that your dryer vent is clogged or improperly hooked up. If the moisture removed from the drying process can’t get outside or is escaping into your laundry area, it is creating a warm, damp area perfect for mold growth. A simple cleaning or dryer vent replacement is a huge step towards mold prevention.
5. Clean With Mold in Mind
When you’re cleaning the areas in your home most prone to mold, you can focus on mold prevention by using antimicrobial or disinfectant products. Many people use bleach as a go-to product for tackling mold on non-porous surfaces, but other cleaners are also available for daily use that are less harsh on you and your family.
Giving target areas daily or weekly attention with a focus on keeping them not only clean but also very dry will effectively prevent mold growth. However, it is important to know that mold does not just grow on the surface of walls. So, if you suspect there may be underlying mold, daily cleanings will only hold it at bay, not remove it.
6. Monitor Your Home’s Humidity Levels
If you are struggling with recurring mold growth in your home, monitoring the humidity levels of the most affected rooms will help you achieve your air quality goals. Humidity monitors are an inexpensive tool to pair with dehumidifiers or fresh air to more effectively control emerging mold.
7. Keep Indoor Plants With Care
Indoor plants are a somewhat surprising and subtle way to prevent mold. While still limited, some research is pointing to indoor plants as a way to remove mold spores from the air. However, overly watered plants or potted plants with poor drainage can actually support mold growth. If you’re still developing your green thumb, consider bringing air plants into the home for a low-water oxygen producer that boosts your air quality while looking great.
8. Prep Before a Heavy Storm
Heavy rainstorms are one of the biggest contributors to mold growth at home. Not only does the downpour find its way into every nook and cranny it can, but the dampness it leaves behind for days to come creates the perfect environment for mold to thrive. If you know a storm is coming, it’s the ideal time to clean out gutters, use weatherstrips to seal windows, and consider investing in a sump pump that will defend your basement from flooding.
You may also want to have plenty of towels and a few buckets on hand if you know you have roof leaks that like to drip during heavy rain. As soon as the storm clears, alert a professional of your leaky roof and look to have it repairs, both to prevent mold and to protect your home going forward.
9. Don’t Ignore Snowfall
Snowfall isn’t something we often associate with mold growth, but just like a heavy storm, snow can quickly lead to mold in the home. The moment sitting snow begins to melt, a home is beset by the gradual leak of water onto the roof, into gutters, and around the home’s edge. Icy windows will also run with water when the sun comes up.
Similar measures to prepping for a rainstorm should be taken, but for snowstorms, you will also want to focus on safely removing snow from your roof once the weather clears. If the snow is left to sit, the water from it can seep through your roof, and the weight can spell additional trouble.
10. Be Aware of Physical Symptoms
Another powerful mold prevention tip is to be aware of any physical symptoms you and your family are feeling in the home. Mold can worsen the effects of asthma and allergies for family members who already deal with them. If you notice that breathing trouble and irritation worsen in the home, it’s a potential sign that mold is present.
Mildew is also a smell many of us have come to recognize. If you fear that you may have gone nose blind to the scent of mold or mildew, bringing in a family friend is a great way to double-check.
If you notice these physical symptoms, you can either try to seek out the source of the mold for visual confirmation or bring in a specialist to perform testing and speak with you about your options moving forward. Our team at Mold Only is proud to serve the residents of southern Florida, offering both remediation and mold testing in Palm Beach County. Following these ten mold prevention tips during Mold Awareness Month will help to stop mold growth in its tracks. If you have any further questions about growth in your home, we’re happy to help.