Mold presents a problem for many homeowners. Mold thrives in a humid environment. As the weather warms up across the country, humidity levels begin to rise as well. This presents a challenge to maintaining proper indoor air quality. Take steps to protect yourself and your family and avoid mold at home.
What is Mold
Mold is a fungus that thrives in areas of high humidity. In the home, this means bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Mold and mildew also form around leaky pipes, ceilings, and windows. It grows near pools of standing water in basements and crawl spaces too. Mold can also form inside HVAC systems. Identifying problem areas and addressing them is important if you want to avoid mold in your home.
Mold spots vary in size and color, although mold is usually black. While often visible, sometimes mold remains hidden behind baseboards and cabinetry. You may, however, notice a musty smell. Of course, a good way to determine the presence of mold is with a DIY mold test kit.
The Dangers of Mold at Home
Mold poses a health risk. For example, mold spores can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. In severe cases, the presence of mold may lead to serious respiratory problems. It is important to identify mold and remove it before it impacts the health of your family. Once the mold is removed, prevention is key to preventing its return.
5 Ways to Avoid Mold at Home
Do these things and lower the risk of mold in your home.
1. Control Humidity Levels
As mentioned earlier, mold needs a humid environment to grow. Therefore, it makes sense that controlling the humidity levels in your home helps prevent mold growth. Ventilation is a big part of this. Use the vent fans in the kitchen and bathrooms while you use these rooms. If these rooms do not have vents fans, consider having them installed. Using portable humidifiers is another way to keep humidity levels between the ideal 30 and 50 percent. Attic fans and HVAC systems with a built-in humidification system also help control moisture and avoid mold at home.
2. Keep Dry and Avoid Mold at Home
To avoid mold in the home it’s important to keep all areas of the home as dry as possible. This means fixing leaks around doors, windows, and ceilings. As well, any leaky pipes in the basement or under sinks should be repaired. Spills and splashes in kitchens and bathrooms should be cleaned up right away. Avoid leaving wet towels or clothing around for long periods. Also, stay on top of gutter cleaning and repair and consider improvements to the home drainage system as well as installing a sump pump in the basement if flooding is a regular occurrence.
3. Maintain Your HVAC
Keeping your HVAC unit clean is important for creating good indoor air quality and helping avoid mold at home. Stay on top of routine maintenance and use a HEPA filter and replace it when necessary. HEPA filters remove up to 99.97 percent of mold as well as bacteria, dust, and pollen. Get added protection with bipolar ionization such as a Plasma Air ionizer. When installed in the HVAC system, this unit helps control the growth of mold and bacteria and reduces the spread of airborne viruses.
4. Test for Mold
Since mold can lie unseen behind baseboards, cabinets, and drywall, consider conducting a DIY test in your home. A mold test kit is affordable, easy to use, and gets results in just a few days. Once you’ve determined the presence of mold in the home, you can deal with it and take steps to avoid mold at home in the future.
5. Deep Clean
Regular house cleaning is a good way to avoid mold at home. Invest in green cleaning products that are water-based and are not a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can also cause respiratory issues. Consider using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter as well. These machines remove mold spores and other allergens from carpeting, rugs, and upholstery. Choose a model that has asthma & allergy friendly® certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Order Your Mold Test Kit Today
To learn more about products to help you avoid mold at home, give us a call today at 727-572-4550.