Blog » Control and Prevent The Growth of Mold in Your Home
We’ve all come just a little too close to eating that piece of bread that looked a little
extra...floury. Mold is everywhere, all around us, indoors and out. A type of microscopic fungi that helps tobreak down plant and animal matter, mold is only harmful to humans if it is growing inside and producing mycotoxins. If certain types of molds produce significant numbers of spores and become airborne in the home, upper respiratory problems can occur, especially for people with asthma and allergies. But otherwise healthy individuals can also suffer from the coughing, sneezing, congestion, and sinus problems indoor mold can cause. If you suspect that there may be mold in your home, here are five signs to look for. And then call us. But there are also several steps you can take to mitigate the growth of mold indoors in the first place. The best ways to prevent and control the growth of mold are:
Keep Humidity Between 30-50%
Humidity levels in the home should remain consistently between 30-50% at all times. To keep
indoor air at a level that holds 30-50% of the maximum amount of moisture it can contain, use a
dehumidifier or an air conditioner in the summer months. Stand-alone, store-bought
dehumidifiers can work in a pinch, or work to target specific moisture-prone areas of your home, but your best bet at fending off mold throughout the entire home is to regulate your entire home’s humidity with a dehumidifier and humidifier unit that works in conjunction with your HVAC system. Your air conditioners may not be doing enough to control humidity levels, so
investing in a variable-speed AC unit or supplementing with a whole-home dehumidifier might
be the thing you need to achieve optimal humidity levels while maintaining comfortable air
temperature. In winter months, keeping humidity above 30% may require a whole-home
humidifier. Check that your thermostat tracks humidity levels. If it doesn’t, you can have a humidistat installed in conjunction so that you can monitor your home’s humidity levels and make adjustments when necessary.
Maintain Good Air Flow
Air in your home should be well-circulated and free-flowing to prevent mold growth. We recently wrote about the importance of keeping your air ducts clean. When dust and debris build up in the air ducts, it can block the flow of air and cause the system to work harder. This can lead to condensation, which can in turn lead to mold and mildew growth. Fortunately, this is one area On The Spot cleaners can help in your quest to prevent mold. We use state-of-the-art
equipment to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of your air ducts, removing all the dirt,
dust, and debris that has built up over time. We also treat your ducts with an antimicrobial
solution that helps to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and other harmful contaminants. We
offer a duct cleaning maintenance plan that includes an annual inspection and cleaning, as well
as discounts on future cleanings.
Additionally, you should make sure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans vent outside your
home. Often, bathroom fans lead to attic or crawl spaces, and many kitchens have exhaust fans
at the bottom of their over-the-stove microwave, which feature non-ducted vent fans that
recirculate air right back into the kitchen. They are essential, well, pointless. Fixing these
ventilation issues could mean less moisture build-up in your bathroom and kitchen, thus keeping mold growth at bay. It goes without saying, your clothes dryer should be vented outside your home. Check it right now!
Repair Leaks Immediately
Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing right away. Once leaks have been properly
fixed and sealed, dry them out immediately and remedy any areas of mold or mildew growth the
leaks have caused. Clean with a bleach and water solution, with adequate ventilation and
personal protective gear, and be vigilant about following manufacturer instructions. Dry
thoroughly before making any repairs. If the area of mold growth is significant, see how we can
Clean and Dry Flooded Areas ASAP
If your home experiences frequent basement flooding or is prone to leaks or water backupS, it’s
crucial to act fast. Any wet areas need to be cleaned up and dried out fully within 24–48 hours.
See our recent post about why a dry basement is an essential part of keeping your home
healthy and mold-free and is SO worth the investment. Our friends at STORM Basement
Waterproofing can assess your situation and protect you from future water damage and mold
Use Mold-Inhibiting High-Quality Paint
Paint the inside of your home, particularly areas prone to moisture such as bathrooms,
basements, seasonal porches, and garages with high-quality paints that contain the maximum
amount of mold inhibitor recommended by the EPA. These paints will work in tandem with the
other preventative measures you take to help resist the growth of mold.
Keep Bathrooms Clean and Dry
Keeping your bathroom clean and allowing it to dry quickly after use is essential in preventing
mold growth in bathrooms. Taking a few extra measures, such as keeping shower doors and
curtains open to allow airflow after a shower and wiping down condensation with clean, dry
antimicrobial towels after use are great ways to mitigate the growth of mold. Clean grout with
mildew-killing cleaning products and be sure to get into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
Replacing caulk is a doable task for the average homeowner and a great way to ensure water
stays out of areas behind or beneath seams. Fill major culprit areas with the silicone caulk
wherever condensation might be seeping into cracks or seams and causing damage and
allowing the growth of mold. These areas include: where the faucet meets the sink or wall,
where the toilet meets the floor, the base of the tub, sink edges, and anywhere else there is a
gap. Remove damaged or dried-out caulk, clean these areas thoroughly, dry them, and fill them
with caulk as per manufacturer directions.
Keep Carpets Clean & Remove Them When Wet
Avoid installing carpet in places that acquire a lot of moisture like basements, porches, and
places that are close to entryways. Use area rugs designed specifically for bathrooms, kitchens,
and entryways that can be cleaned regularly. There are many bathmats, welcome mats, and
area rugs that can now be thrown right into the wash. Keep the floor under and around the rugs
clean and dry. Get larger area rugs and wall-to-wall carpets professionally cleaned on a routine
basis. Be sure to check out our guide to maintaining your carpets in between cleanings.
Remove or replace carpets and any upholstery that has been soaked and could not be dried
within 48 hours. Professional mold remediation may be needed beyond that point.
We Clean Mold On The Spot
When it comes to mold, we mean business. Mold can cause serious health problems, and it can
spread quickly if not properly removed, which is why it's so important to contact a professional
mold remediation company like On The Spot Cleaners. We will assess the extent of your mold
problem and develop a plan to safely and effectively remove the mold. We use state-of-the-art
equipment and techniques to ensure that your property is thoroughly cleaned and free of mold.
We clean, sanitize, and demolish as necessary to eliminate existing mold and prevent its future
spread. We are licensed by the state of New York and our years of experience will ensure that
your property will be safely free of mold. Don’t wait. If you suspect mold, getting tested for it will just waste time. If you can see it or smell it, it is there and we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.