How To Prevent Mold in Your Home
No one wants mold in their home. Mold and other microbial growth looks terrible, smells worse, and may impact your family’s health. Over the long term, microbial growth on porous materials will degrade them and lower the resale value of a home.
You cannot prevent all mold in your home. Microbial spores are everywhere in the air and on surfaces looking for the ideal conditions to grow. Most of the time, these spores are in small quantities that do not cause ill effects for people in the home. However, if microbes are able to grow colonies big enough to be seen with the naked eye, they will be releasing spores in high volume.
Keep Home Dry
The key to preventing mold growth in your home is keeping it dry. Keeping the indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent is ideal for preventing microbial growth. Anything over 60 percent humidity can provide enough moisture for mold.
Ventilate Bathrooms and Attics
Keep bathrooms well ventilated. Use a fan or open a window when feasible. If all else fails, open the door to circulate air following a bath or shower.
Moisture can get trapped in your attic as well, especially if your bathroom fan ventilates to the attic. Consult an expert if necessary to find a workable solution to preventing moisture in your attic.
Many homes get their moisture through the foundation in the basement. Consider having your basement sealed, especially if your foundation is several decades old. If your basement is prone to flooding, a French drain or sump pump may be warranted to prevent water entering your home.
Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can help regulate the moisture in your home’s air. Target 40 percent humidity for ideal comfort. Remember to empty your dehumidifier regularly to permit it to work correctly and prevent microbial growth in the appliance.
Prevent Water Losses
Even the best homes are subject to water disasters from time to time. Keep an eye on these hazards to reduce your exposure to these threats:
Washing Machine Hoses
Inspect washing machine hoses regularly and replace when they are five years old. Do not leave the house when the washer is running, so you can respond quickly to any leaks.
Hot Water Heater
Most residential hot water heater tanks hold 40 to 50 gallons. Imagine all that water spilling over your floor at once. Check your hot water heater weekly for signs of corrosion, sizzling noises, and leaks. Drain your tank every six months to remove sediment that can collect in the tank and cause corrosion.
A tiny, undetected burst pipe can soak an entire home in 48 hours or less. Take care to keep your home heated during frigid weather. Have your heating system serviced every year to ensure it will not fail when you need it most. Ask a neighbor to check on your home when you go out of town.
Address Water Intrusions
Despite your best efforts, you may experience a water loss or flood. When you do, it is important to act fast to prevent secondary microbial growth.
Dry Surfaces ASAP
Your first concern should be to dry any water you can see. You can pump out the water or use towels or mops to sop up the water. Do not hesitate to call in a professional if there is too much water for you to remove. The sooner your house is dry, the less your loss will cost in the long run.
Check for Unseen Water
Once you have the visible water under control, you need to consider the water you cannot see. Water may be sitting beneath the surface of your floorboards or behind walls. If you do not find and dry this water, you can expect mold growth later one.
Trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford to advise you on preventing mold growth in your home. Our certified water restoration technicians have the tools and expertise to determine if water is hiding out of sight in your home. They can find and the dry the moisture. And, if you waited too long and microbial growth has begun, our technicians can remediate it safely.