Molds have their place in nature, and are important to the ecosystem. They break down organic matter that wouldn’t otherwise break down on its own. We also use mold in our foods. Cheese, soy sauce, some wines and beers, yogurt, mushrooms and other foods contain some molds. We also use some mold in medicines such as antibiotics. So, not all mold is bad. But when it comes to mold in our home, it is the last thing we would want.
Homeowners should take preemptive steps to prevent mold and mildew growth in their homes. This blog post helps readers understand what mold needs to grow and how best to prevent it from occurring.
Where Can Mold Grow?
Mold can almost grow anywhere and on almost any surface, be it indoors or outdoors, as long as there is enough surface moisture to for their growth.
Mold can be found in all types of climate and in every social and economic condition. They can be found in brand new homes or homes that are 100 years old. Molds can be found on the surfaces of objects, within pores, and inside deteriorated materials. They really can be found almost anywhere. Scary, isn’t it?
How Does Mold Thrive?
Mold of all types thrive where moisture, oxygen, and the chemicals they need are present. Mold needs just a few things to grow.
- Fungal spore – often sent airborn from another mold source
- Moisture – from humidity levels or another water source
- Somewhere to grow – any porous material can be a breeding ground for mold
Mold can grow on food, walls, in attics, in basements and on pretty much any organic material. If the temperature and humidity levels are right, the environment will support mold.
One of the easiest ways for us to prevent mold and mildew is to control moisture. Moisture can be introduced in the air of your home through many different avenues. A leak in the roof, a flood, a break in the plumbing, a damaged foundation or simply high humidity. If moisture is in the air for more than a day or two, mold can begin to grow. It grows quickly and spreads all throughout the home if allowed to.
As homeowners, we need to keep our homes in good repair. If there are leaks, repair them. If your home has flooded, take appropriate steps to remediate and rebuild. Check your basement and attic periodically for signs of leaks or moisture.
But what about humidity? How can you prevent mold and mildew when the source of moisture is from weather? How can we possibly control the weather? Well, we can’t. But there are ways to reduce the weather related moisture in our homes to prevent mold and mildew.
How to Reduce Moisture in the Air
High humidity levels are often a reason (or at least a contributing factor) for mold growth. If you are like most homeowners, you want to prevent mold and mildew in your home, and you can do this by reducing the moisture in the air (ie. reducing the humidity level). It is important to keep tabs on your humidity levels and take the necessary actions to keep them at a level that is not conducive to mold growth. Here are a few tips you can start to use today to keep humidity levels low and reduce the chances that mold takes hold in your home.
Know your Numbers
The first step in reducing humidity to prevent mold and mildew is to determine if your humidity levels are too high. You can purchase or rent an indoor humidity monitor which will tell you what your current numbers are. The EPA suggested humidity level range is 30-60%. These levels are low enough to help prevent mold and mildew from growing in your home.
There are signs that humidity levels are too high in your home, even without a monitor. If you notice condensation on or around your windows, you can safely assume that your humidity levels are high. If this condensation is typical, you will need to take steps to reduce the humidity and moisture in the air to prevent mold and mildew.
Increase Ventilation in Your Home
There are easy steps you can take to increase the ventilation in your home and therefore reduce the humidity levels throughout your house. Your home is likely equipped with exhaust fans in the kitchens and bathrooms. These fans are there for a reason. When you run water (shower, dishwasher etc), moisture is added to the air. Be sure to run these fans any time you are cooking, bathing, dish washing etc so that the moisture you add to the air can be removed quickly.
You can also run fans throughout your home to keep the air circulating and dry. Ceiling fans or floor fans both work well in every room.
Run a Dehumidifier
Some areas are naturally high in humidity, and if you live in one of these areas, you may need to purchase and run a dehumidifier. Doing so will help ensure you prevent mold and mildew in your home. When you purchase a dehumidifier, make sure you buy one with adequate coverage for the size of your home or purchase multiple units. You may only need to run the dehumidifier at certain times of the year. Your humidity monitor can help you determine when to run your dehumidifier.
While mold is necessary in nature and while we use it for medicines and foods, we certainly do not want it in our homes. As homeowners, we need to take steps to prevent mold and mildew at all costs. The easiest way to prevent mold and mildew is by controlling moisture sources. Whether those moisture sources be from leaks or floods or simply weather induced humidity, we have the ability to control it so that mold cannot grow and impact our health or wallet.
Use these tips to reduce the moisture in the air of your home and prevent mold and mildew problems from popping up.
from Mold Blogger https://moldblogger.com/how-to-prevent-mold-and-mildew/
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