Although mold is a natural substance, it is one that can be hazardous to your health and your property. Mold takes hold on common building materials like wood and drywall because they contain cellulose that mold uses as food.
When there is a high level of moisture, these surfaces are an ideal spot for mold to begin growing. As the mold devours the affected surfaces, it causes damage to these surfaces that will eventually become irreversible. Mold colonies can also disperse their spores, spreading the mold to new areas.
Exposure to mold can have several detrimental effects on your health. Among the health concerns mold can cause are eye irritation, skin irritation, and throat irritation. If you are exposed to mold over a long period of time, you may suffer from more serious health effects such as asthma or respiratory infections.
Fortunately, it is possible to reduce the risk of mold growth in your home. It is important for all homeowners to know how to prevent mold growth and protect yourself from it. Use the following safety tips to help keep your property mold free.
Dry Wet Areas and Items
Moisture is a key component for mold growth. So when it comes to mold prevention and protection, it is especially helpful to get rid of any excess moisture or condensation. As such, dry wet areas right away so they don’t encourage mold growth. When you wash your clothing and linens, thoroughly dry them in a clothes dryer before putting them away. If you have to hang items to dry, hang them outside or in areas with good air circulation.
Because these rooms produce a lot of moisture, proper ventilation in your home’s bathroom and kitchen is important to prevent mold growth. When showering, be sure to run the exhaust fan, and leave it on for at least 20 minutes afterwards to dry the leftover water. When you’re cooking, crack open a window so that the moisture has somewhere to escape to.
For appliances that produce a large amount of moisture, like clothes dryers, vent them to the outside so that the moisture doesn’t build up in your home. Additionally, open doors to the rooms in your home to allow proper air flow.
Control Humidity Levels
Controlling humidity levels in your home can limit the potential for mold growth. The easiest way to control the humidity in your home is to take advantage of your home’s air conditioning and use dehumidifiers. When using a dehumidifier, use it to maintain a humidity level somewhere between 30 to 50 percent.
Water damage can easily lead to mold growth because the excess moisture allows mold to thrive. When water damage is caused by household problems like leaky pipes, cracked hoses, and clogged gutters, these can be easily fixed.
With regular maintenance and cleaning for your home’s plumbing system, gutter system, and water supply lines, you can eliminate the potential for water damage and mold growth. If any problems arise concerning these things, tend to them right away instead of putting them off. Quick action will not only reduce the risk of mold, but also limit the extent of the water damage.
Throw Away and Take Out Trash Regularly
Mold can be quick to grow in your kitchen’s trash, so be sure to empty it and take it outside regularly. Make sure to securely close or seal whatever central trash bin you’re emptying it into as well. If you have compost in your kitchen, empty that regularly so mold doesn’t grow in it either. Lastly, if you have spoiled food, throw it out or add it to your compost right away.
Use Mold-Resistant Products
If you’re renovating or building your home, you should use mold-resistant products to decrease the potential for mold growth. Some examples of mold resistant products are paint and drywall. Using mold-resistant drywall can be especially helpful because it will protect those walls from damage by mold. Traditional drywall contains a paper-covered gypsum plaster core, making it susceptible to water damage and thus mold growth. Mold-resistant drywall has a fiberglass-covered gypsum core that makes it water-resistant.
The best action you can take against mold is prevention. Following the tips outlined above will greatly reduce the risk of mold in your home which will protect your property and your health. However, if you discover mold growing in your home, you must call for professional mold removal immediately. Any hesitation will allow the mold to spread further and cause deeper damage to the already affected surfaces.
At ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors, we provide mold remediation services to homes and businesses in Fort Wayne and Northeastern Indiana. We employ well trained technicians who will contain the mold to prevent it from spreading and use specialized equipment and techniques to remove the fungus. With our service, you can be confident that the mold will be removed completely.