It’s important to prevent mold in the home because it’s dangerous to your health and property. Since mold spores are microscopic, they’re easily inhaled into your lungs. Mold can cause respiratory problems, eye, nose, and throat irritations, and other serious illnesses.
Mold in the home is more common than many realize and you may not even know it’s there. Some of the tell-tale signs are a musty smell, discolored walls, and watermarks on the ceiling. Mold isn’t always visible and mold spores can look like dust. The best way to battle mold is to prevent it. Use the following eight tips to prevent mold in the home.
1. Dry Wet Materials Quickly to Prevent Mold in the Home
If you’ve ever left laundry sitting in the washer too long, you’ve probably smelled the musty odor of mold starting to grow. This is why it’s important to dry wet items around the house quickly. If there is a spill or leak, wipe up the wet area immediately and use a fan to thoroughly dry it. Any wet areas in your home are an invitation for mold to grow.
2. Clean, Disinfect, and Dry Surfaces
Floors, sinks, and other surfaces are favorite places for mold to grow. Fortunately, these surfaces are typically non-porous, so they can be cleaned easily with disinfectant. Vapor steam cleaners also work to prevent mold in the home. If you use water, make sure to dry cleaned surfaces thoroughly.
3. Reduce Moisture in Bathrooms
The bathroom is usually the room in your home where you’ll have the most moisture. If you don’t have a bathroom exhaust fan, consider installing one. If you do have an exhaust fan, turn it on every time you bathe, and leave it on for about ten minutes afterward. Avoid leaving wet towels lying around and choose a shower curtain material that is mildew-resistant and easy to clean.
4. Repair Plumbing Leaks
Disintegrating pipes are the main culprit of plumbing leaks. Leaks and seepage will travel further than you think and create a welcoming environment for mold. Prevent moisture in the home by replacing old deteriorating pipes. Fix any leaks you already have right away.
5. Use Dry, Clean Storage
Take care when storing items like camping tents, raincoats, and umbrellas. Put wet items outdoors or in a place with good air circulation so they can dry thoroughly before storing them in dark closets.
6. Increase Air Flow
Increase the flow of air in your home to help prevent mold. Have a stable source of fresh air coming into your home. Opening windows occasionally is preferable to air conditioning and fans. Avoid placing furniture up against walls and keep confined spaces and dark areas well-ventilated.
7. Prevent Moisture in the Basement
If you have a basement, take extra steps to prevent mold there. Keep moisture at bay by running a dehumidifier and/or installing a drain. Insulation in the walls and thermal pane windows will limit condensation.
8. Keep Houseplants Mold Free
Plants are great for helping keep indoor air clean by converting carbon dioxide into clean oxygen. Unfortunately, they can also harbor mold in their soil if they are overwatered. Make sure to water your houseplants with just the amount of water they need and don’t leave the soil saturated.