The Midwest is certainly no stranger to the humid weather during the summer, especially for those living near lakes, ponds, and rivers. As humidity is synonymous with moisture, homeowners can face significant problems if they don’t take steps to keep things cool.
Excess humidity can lead to mold because it provides mold with one of the two main things it needs to grow: moisture. When there is excess humidity and moisture in your home, you are vulnerable to rampant mold growth which can cause significant health and structural issues in the long run. This is why water restoration services are important if you discover water damage on your property.
The best way to prevent mold, especially during the summer, is to control humidity and moisture levels within the home. It is recommended to pay close attention to the kitchen, attic, bathroom, and other areas that are more likely to contain moisture.
If mold is already present in your home, it is best to reach out to a professional mold removal service. They will be able to conduct a thorough inspection of your home to uncover sites of mold growth you might not have noticed, and remove the mold from affected surfaces so that it no longer threatens your health or the structural integrity of your property.
In the meantime, however, here are some mold prevention tips to keep your home mold-free this summer.
Control the Humidity
As mentioned, the best way to curb mold growth in the summer is to control the humidity. To control the humidity, it’s best to keep cool air flowing throughout the house all or most of the time. You may also want to invest in a dehumidifier, or a few depending on the size of your home. One may run in the kitchen and another in the bathroom.
Also beware that humidity levels will rise when someone is cooking, showering, running the dishwasher, or keeping exterior doors open. Take note of any condensation building up on the walls or ceiling during and after cooking, and wipe them down quickly. Turn on all fans to keep air flowing throughout the house.
Control the Temperature
Mold thrives in hot, humid environments ranging anywhere from 77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Outside temperatures will normally fluctuate between this range, quickly heating up the home.
Keeping the house cool during the day may be easy as it’s simply uncomfortable to sit inside sweating with anything higher than 76 degrees. Just be aware if any doors are closed and you don’t have central air, other rooms can quickly become hot and humid, developing the perfect environment for mold.
Circulate Air Throughout the Home
Mold loves stagnant air, so running fans, the air conditioner, and dehumidifiers should keep it from becoming a problem. Be sure to keep the doors to other rooms open or ensure vents are open in each room to prevent moisture buildup.
Clean the Home
Moisture can accumulate within used towels and dirty clothes, attracting mold spores. Make sure to keep surfaces and objects free of dirt, soap scum, and cooking oil as they are commonly known to grow mold.
When cleaning, use vinegar, baking soda, bleach, and Dawn soap for the best results.
Close the Windows when it Rains
This tip seems straightforward but is often forgotten as many think opening the windows during rainfall can help cool down the home, but it actually promotes mold growth from the rain droplets seeping in through the screen.
Remember to close all windows when it rains and also during humid conditions. Turn on fans instead of the air conditioner if you want to save on utility costs.
Monitor the Air Ducts for Condensation
When running the HVAC unit for a while, condensation can accumulate within the air ducts and attract mold spores. When it develops, spores can travel throughout the ducts and into each room, creating a number of health issues and even contributing to additional mold growth in more areas of your house.
Be sure to inspect your air ducts every two weeks for any signs of condensation. Also remember to schedule a professional air duct cleaning at least once a year to clear out built-up dust, dirt, and debris.
Conduct Regular Roof Inspections
Roof leaks are most common during the spring and summertime when it rains most often. Heavy rainfall can eventually cause a leak that may start small at first, but will eventually grow and contribute to mold growth and water damage.
To prevent this issue, conduct regular roof inspections to find and repair any leaks before they become worse.
Mold Prevention Tips to Take All Year Round
Mold is most common during the spring and summer months, but it can grow year-round from appliances, roof leaks and other areas with excess moisture.
If you aren’t proactive about keeping your home dry, you may require mold abatement services some time down the road.
Be sure to take these steps to keep moisture levels low within the home:
- Take action right away if you notice any musty smells. Mold can grow behind walls and under carpets, hidden from plain site. It may be necessary to contact a mold inspector.
- Turn on the exhaust fan or open a window a few inches when showering to keep air circulating in the room.
- Wipe up any spills as soon as they happen.
- Remove any carpeting in the bathroom as mold spores are attracted to the porous fibers of the furnishing. It’s also difficult to dry if it becomes wet. Area rugs are considered fine, just be sure to wash them thoroughly and hang them to dry afterward.
- Follow the vent from your clothes dryer. It should lead outside, not the crawlspace or attic to prevent excess moisture from accumulating within these areas.
- Repair any leaking pipes or appliances right away.
The Importance of Mold Growth
While there are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent mold and keep moisture levels low, nothing can ensure it won’t grow. If you notice any sign of mold, don’t hesitate to have it removed right away to prevent it from spreading.
When mold grows, it disperses spores into the breathing air, triggering breathing issues and allergies, including headaches, coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes and throat, coughing and more. If not treated promptly by a mold remediation team, long-term effects can include respiratory infections and other complications.
Structural issues can also result from mold growth consuming the cellulose within the porous materials. Over time, the building materials will become warped, rotted, and stained, eventually needing to be replaced.
All of the above reasons and more are why mold must be removed as soon as it is found. However, many at-home products are not able to remove it at the source, and may actually aggravate the mold and worsen the problem. Only professional products will be enough to fully remove mold and prevent it from returning.
Professional Mold Remediation
If you live in or near the city of Fort Wayne, IN, ServiceMaster Restoration by Contractors is available to provide professional the mold removal services you need to keep your home safe. Our technicians are licensed, bonded, and insured to remove mold at the source and prevent it from returning.
For more information about our mold removal services, give us a call at 260-420-1502 or fill out a contact form. We’ll be happy to help!