Moisture problems like mold and mildew are common in hot and humid areas. However, mold can also be a problem in winter under certain situations. You may not know it, but mold can grow anywhere – from your carpet, the bathroom, the kitchen, your roof, the ceiling, in between your walls, and other inaccessible spaces in your home – and it slowly wreaks havoc in your home, health, and finances.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), our home’s indoor air is two to five times more harmful than outdoor air – with indoor air measurements in some cases being a hundred times more polluted than that of the outside environment. Unfortunately, one of the problems that significantly contributes to this is mold.
Mold spores can fan out easily and cannot be entirely eradicated no matter how careful you are. Not only is it difficult and costly to address, but it can also produce irritants and allergens (and even toxins) that can cause throat, skin, and eye irritation, as well as coughing and nasal stuffiness.
All of these explain why it’s important for every homeowner to know how to prevent mold before it’s too late. The best approach is always prevention – more specifically, mold and mildew prevention.
That said, below are some ways to prevent and control mold growth in your home.
1. Eliminate Clutter
First things first – make sure to only keep things that you need and get rid of any unnecessary clutter that blocks your airflow and hinders air circulation from your HVAC system. This includes draperies and furniture, which can also cause condensation that creates micro-climates conducive to mold growth.
Moreover, make sure to regularly dust your furniture, cabinets, and doors, and keep your display items in glass containers.
2. Keep Things Clean
All items or areas where mildew is likely to grow should always be kept clean, as they can foster mold growth with the right moisture and temperature. On that note, greasy spaces, like those found in your kitchen walls, may supply the necessary nutrients for mildew-causing molds and, therefore, should be kept squeaky-clean.
It is also important to clean soiled clothing, as they contain nutrients for mildew-causing molds. Synthetic fibers such as acetate, polyester, acrylic, and nylon are usually resistant to mildew, but soiling these fabric types can create an environment that can foster mold and mildew growth. You can prevent mildewing by using mold and mildew cleaners to clean soiled fabrics of any type thoroughly.
3. Get the Right Size for Your HVAC Unit
A bigger HVAC unit does not necessarily mean more efficient cooling for your home. Having an AC unit of the right size installed in your home is the best way to optimize cooling and promote mold prevention. If your AC unit is too small to fit your home, then it will eventually keep working to cool that large space and achieve no success as it does not have the capacity to do so. As a result, this will inflate costs. On the other hand, an oversized unit will waste energy by constantly starting and stopping and won’t remove much moisture from the air.
4. Inspect the HVAC Drain Pipe
Make sure that your condensate drain pipe – the slim white pipe that sticks out on the side of your house – is regularly dripping. Otherwise, it may mean that the pipe is blocked, and water may be stuck and piling up inside your HVAC unit.
Moreover, one of the main sources of mold and mildew is the HVAC duct. It is where mold spores are usually trapped. That said, you should always check for leaks in ceilings, foundations, roofs, and walls of your house and unclog the drains of your HVAC units regularly. Replace any shabby pipes and have leaks repaired as soon as possible.
5. Maintain Proper Ventilation
Domestic activities like cooking, laundry, or taking a shower can promote mold growth in your home. That said, make sure that high-moisture areas in your home – such as your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room – are properly ventilated. If possible, use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in areas with high humidity) but see to it that they don’t give off moisture themselves by cleaning them and inspecting them regularly.
Mold prevention can also be done by simply opening the windows when cooking or washing clothes and dishes or taking a shower. You can also have an exhaust fan to prevent moisture and have natural ventilation inside your home. This also allows for fresh airflow in your home, which decreases indoor carbon dioxide levels, dries out wet and mildew areas, and also reduces odors and stuffiness.
6. Maintain Healthy Humidity Levels
Good mold and mildew prevention involves keeping humidity levels low. This can be achieved by having vent fans, plug-in dehumidifiers, or whole-home humidification installed in your home.
HVAC systems also work great to control humidity levels by drying and circulating the air – making it perfect for a closed-up home. When it comes to air conditioning systems, always look for units that have enhanced moisture removal and a minimum SEER rating of 14.
Professional Mold Mitigation Services
If your mold and mildew problems call for professional mold removal, it’s best to leave it to our experts for water damage restoration service in Omaha, NE. Our team has the right set of skills, knowledge, and state-of-the-art equipment to handle all types of mold infestation in your home. With more than a decade of experience, you can trust our expertise to restore your property’s value and prevent long-term damage. Call us now!