Simple Things We Can Do To Prevent Mold In Our Homes
Most of us know that mold is bad for our health, but did you know that it can also cause structural damage to your home? Mold growth thrives in humid environments, so homes in warm climates are especially susceptible. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent mold from taking hold in your home.
Maintain Humidity Levels
Keep indoor humidity levels low. Air conditioners or dehumidifies help to remove excessive moisture from the air. If possible, keep the humidity level below 60%.
Ventilate shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
These areas produce a lot of moisture, so be sure to ventilate them properly. Use an exhaust fan for air circulation or open a window when showering, cooking, or doing laundry.
Fix water leaks and seepage promptly. Standing water is a breeding ground for mold spores and can cause damage to building materials, so it’s important to fix any leaks or seepage issues right away. Pay special attention to leaky pipes and roofs.
Clean up spills immediately. Wipe up any water spills as soon as they happen and dry wet areas completely. Don’t forget to clean under rugs and furniture where moisture can collect unseen.
Inspect plumbing regularly for leaks. Check your toilets, sinks, showers, and tubs for any signs of leaks or condensation build-up.
Use mold-resistant products in areas prone to mold growth. If you live in a humid climate or have had problems with mold in the past, consider using mildew-resistant paint in areas like bathrooms and kitchens where mold is more likely to grow. You can also find mold-resistant caulking and drywall tape at most hardware stores.
Proper Food Storage
Store food properly. Moisture and organic matter encourage mold growth, so they often show up in items like bread and fruit that contain high levels of both water and sugar. To prevent mold growth on food, store it in airtight containers and refrigerate perishable items promptly. Be sure to check expiration dates before eating anything that’s been stored for a while. And finally, don’t forget about pet food! Mold can easily contaminate kibble and wet food if it’s not stored properly.
Don’t Forget About Your Holiday Decorations!
Keep holiday decorations clean and dry. Mold loves nothing more than a dank basement full of all your holiday decor from years past. Before storing seasonal items like Christmas tree skirts and Hanukkah banners, make sure they’re clean and completely dry. If you live in a humid climate, consider storing them in airtight plastic bags with silica gel packets to absorb any moisture. This will help prevent musty smells and give you peace of mind when unpacking them next year.
By taking some simple precautions, you can prevent mold from becoming a problem in your home. Keep humidity levels low, ventilate damp areas well, fix leaks promptly, clean up spills right away, store food properly, inspect plumbing regularly for leaks, use mold-resistant products in at-risk areas, and keep holiday decorations clean and dry. Taking these steps will help you breathe easier—literally!—and keep your home healthy all year long.