Unsightly splotches on surfaces. Nauseating smells. Coughing and wheezing and terrible allergic reactions. Mold is a destroyer; it ruins your home, your health, and your property. It gets into every home at some point or another and cleaning it out can be a nigh impossible task to do on your own. Sometimes, it cannot be cleaned at all – such as when it takes root in carpets, or on porous walls, and you have to entirely remove the infested surface and replace it – and can be a costly and unpleasant experience. Better to do everything you can to minimize the growth of mold in your home.
Tips to Preventing Mold
According to Alpine Cleaning and Restoration, there are a number of things you can do to prevent mold from taking root if you’re diligent in your cleaning. Since spring is coming, and the melting snow and ice are going to cause a lot of dampness in the coming months, now might be a good time to go over some of these helpful tips.
1. Identify Problem Areas
Is there a spot in your basement that regularly floods? Are your windows prone to condensation buildup? Is there a wet spot on your ceiling from a leak? If you have any areas like this, take steps immediately. Search out and fix any leaks you have as soon as you notice them. You might remove carpet from an area prone to excessive dampness. Try mold-resistant products. Whatever you decide to do, do it quickly, before the infestation has a chance to get out of control.
2. Dry Wet Areas
Mold requires moisture. Check your basement for moisture after heavy rainfall. Watch for leaking pipes. Don’t leave wet clothes or towels on the floor. Clean up spills immediately. And if you find any dampness, do everything you can to dry it out within 24 hours.
3. Make Sure Your Home has Adequate Ventilation
Simple activities like cooking, showering, or doing laundry can increase the humidity of the air in your home. Be sure to vent washing machines and stoves to direct humid air outside of your home instead of to an attic. Open windows when cooking, washing dishes, or running the shower. Use AC units and dehumidifiers to get the air to circulate out of your house, but be sure to clean them regularly so they don’t break down and become another source of moisture.
4. Consider Mold Resistant Products
If you’re building or renovating your home, there are mold resistant products you can buy to help fight mold infestations. Drywall is normally composed of a plaster core covered by layers of paper, but mold resistant drywall has a fiberglass covering that resists moisture. If you have the option, install this product in any area that will be prone to moisture, such as laundry rooms, kitchens or bathrooms.
5. Monitor Humidity Indoors
Humidity indoors should be between 30 and 60% and you can measure this with a moisture meter available at any hardware store. You can also keep an eye out for signs of increased moisture. If your windows, pipes, and walls regularly get condensation on them, your humidity level in the house is probably too high. When you do see condensation, dry it as quickly as you can and see if you can find the source of the moisture.
6. Direct Water Away From Your Home
If the ground doesn’t slope away from the foundation of your home, water can seep into crawlspaces, or your basement. If necessary, redo the grading around your foundations.
7. Clean Your Roof and Gutters
A leaking roof is sure to lead to mold if it’s ignored for too long. As soon as you spot the signs of a leaky roof – damp patches on the ceiling, for example – take time to repair your roof, or have a professional do it for you. And always make sure your gutters are clean. The gutters will carry water from your roof away from your house so long as they stay clear of debris. If you spot clogs, clean them out immediately to prevent future problems.
8. Improve Air Flow in Your Home
Cold air holds more moisture than warm air, so if you have areas of your home that are more cold than others, be sure to open the doors between rooms, open closets, and move furniture away from walls to let air flow properly. Be sure to let fresh air in to circulate moist air out of your house.
9. Watch Your Indoor Plants
Mold loves plants. The moist soil in a plant-pot is the perfect place for mold to start growing in and from there it can spread to anything nearby. If you have lots of indoor plants, consider adding a bit of taheebo tea to their water. The oil in this tea is a potent natural fungicide and can stop mold from taking root in the soil of your plants.
Holding Off the Inevitable
Remember that mold is a tenacious organism and you cannot prevent it from getting into your house forever. Sooner or later, it will take root. Do everything you can to keep it from getting in, but when it does, clean it immediately. A mixture of bleach, detergent, and hot water can help clean it off of tile surfaces, but be sure that the detergent you use does not contain ammonia, as mixing bleach with ammonia will create toxic fumes. If carpets or walls get mold in them, you will need to remove and replace them.
Don’t forget that mold is often toxic, so take precautions. Wear older clothes, use breathing masks designed to protect against mold along with goggles and gloves, and use a box fan to blow contaminated air out of your home during and after the cleaning process.
Removing mold from your home is a difficult business that has many health risks. If the infestation is too large, or you don’t feel confident in your own ability to clean it up, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. Professional cleaning services, such as Alpine Cleaning and Restoration, are trained to deal with these problems and have the knowledge and tools to fix them quickly and with as minimal a fuss as possible.
Don’t let mold destroy your home and your health. Do everything you can to prevent it from getting a hold and clean up any small patches you find immediately. But when worse comes to worse, don’t take any chances. Get help from people who know what they’re doing. Avoid the misery of mold; keep your house dry and clean.