Nobody wants to discover that they have mold in their home. It ranks right up there with termites, a cracked foundation, and other property disasters that you just know are going to cost you an arm and a leg to correct. And yet, you should know that every home has mold. So don’t be shocked if you perform a test and discover not one, but several types of mold spores present in your structure. The problem doesn’t arise until the mold spores in your house begin to grow and form colonies. At that point you have to contend with potential damage, not to mention a possible health hazard. And that’s where your problem can start to get expensive. That said, it’s not terribly difficult to prevent mold growth in your home if you understand why and how it grows. Here are a few tips to get you on the right track.
First, you need to understand why mold grows. There are several factors that contribute to the process, including the presence of mold (already in your home, no doubt), a food source, temperature, and humidity. Mold feeds on pretty much anything organic, including wood, drywall, paper, and even the oil from your skin that gets on surfaces when you touch them or the soap residue left behind when you shower. So while keeping your home clean is important, you’re never going to get rid of all the potential food sources for mold. And it can grow at nearly any temperature above freezing. There is a ray of sunshine, though, and that is the humidity in your home. Without excessive humidity, mold is very unlikely to grow.
You may have noticed that mold tends to take root in areas like bathrooms and basements that are prone to excessive moisture. And knowing this can help you to prevent colonies from forming. Controlling the humidity in your home is probably the most effective means of preventing mold growth, and all you really need to get started is a hygrometer. This inexpensive tool measures humidity, and your average home humidity should be somewhere in the 30-40% range (or possibly lower if you live in a particularly cold and/or arid climate). If it’s over 50%, there’s a good chance that you could find yourself dealing with mold at some point. So the next course of action is to control the moisture in your home.
This can be accomplished in a couple of ways. In bathrooms and kitchens in particular, installing proper ventilation can do a lot to reduce the moisture you create through showering, cooking, and so on. But for other rooms in your home, adding equipment to pull excess moisture from the air could provide the solution you seek. Portable dehumidifiers are one option, but if you have a widespread problem, you might want to opt for a whole-home unit. It hooks in to your existing HVAC system to pull moisture from every room in your home.
From there you should address the source of the moisture. If it’s coming from outdoors instead of inside, you might need to seal leaks (around windows, doors, etc.) and have your vapor barrier and/or insulation checked out to ensure that your structure is adequately protected from intrusion. And if you have a serious issue that you can’t correct on your own, you could always call in a reputable service like Stay Dry Basements of Ct to help you out. It may cost you some money to rid your home of the humidity that can foster mold growth, but preventive measures are likely to be a lot less expensive than mold remediation.