If mold develops in your home, it can be very toxic and cause numerous health issues for your family and pets. Some ailments attributed to untreated mold include respiratory difficulties like asthma and pneumonia, rashes, depression, fatigue, digestive problems, and inflammation and pain in the joints.
Mold can also be very destructive to the building structure, eating away at it and causing extensive damage.
What Causes Mold?
According to Moldpedia.com, mold needs certain conditions before it can begin to grow in a home, but moisture is the common denominator. So the key to preventing mold is moisture control. Without excessive moisture in your home, mold cannot grow.
Taking steps to prevent the growth of mold in the home can go a long way in reducing the need for mold removal. We’ve listed some tips for reducing the chances of mold growing in your home here.
Maximize Air Circulation and Ventilation
Keeping the spaces around air vents and the HVAC system in your home cleared can increase the air flow. If there is clutter or furniture blocking the vents, condensation can form and encourage mold growth. So make sure you de-clutter and keep these areas clear to increase air flow. On especially humid days, you may want to add some fans for additional circulation.
Opening a window or installing an exhaust fan in your bathrooms and kitchen can help reduce condensation from forming when showering, bathing, cooking and other cleaning.
Other ways to increase circulation are to open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
Vents to appliances that produce moisture, like clothes dryers and cooking stoves, should be directed outdoors.
Using ceiling or free-standing fans within the home can also increase air circulation and keep it drier.
Audit Your Home for Potential Mold Problem Areas
You can do a walkthrough of your home to identify potential problem areas like:
- Basement flooding
- Condensation on windows
- Water stains on ceilings
- Damaged or clogged gutters
- Damp carpets
- Leaking pipes
- Moisture around sinks, toilets and tubs
- Musty odors, especially in basements and attics
If you notice any of these issues, it’s advisable to rectify the situation by repairing or replacing the source of the problems. You can also address the problems by installing mold-resistant products or waterproofing.
Clean Up Water Immediately
If you experience a water leak or flooding, it’s critical to eliminate the excess water within 24-48 hours in order to reduce the chance of mold spores developing. If the water has affected porous materials, like furniture, drapes or carpets, remove them if they can’t be completely dried.
Even common everyday occurrences need attention: don’t leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.
Monitor and Control Indoor Humidity
The EPA-recommended humidity level for indoors is between 30 and 60 percent. You can purchase moisture meters from a hardware store that measure the moisture levels. Using de-humidifiers can help reduce the indoor humidity by removing any moisture from the air that you aren’t able to prevent, and will help you control the humidity in the house. It’s particularly important to have dehumidifiers in damp areas, such as basements and crawl spaces.
If You Do Notice Mold Growth, Don’t Attempt to Remove it Yourself!
There are signs you can look for to determine if you’ve already got mold growing in your home. If you notice any of these signs, it’s dangerous to try to remediate it yourself. Once mold becomes visible to the naked eye, it has likely already caused more damage than the typical homeowner can fix. Contact with mold can be very dangerous unless you have the proper equipment, experience and knowledge, and the appropriate gear to remediate it.
If you believe you have mold growing in your home, call the professionals at St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration as soon as possible. We are available 24/7 for emergency situations to help prevent further devastation to your home and health.
We have been serving St. Louis families, businesses and corporations since 1991 as a local family-owned company. Our mission is to exceed our client’s expectations and provide fair and honest pricing, quality service, innovative technology and unprecedented customer service.