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How to Prevent Mold

The key to mold growth is moisture. Mold can grow on a food source in 24 to 48 hours if the material remains wet. So the best way to prevent mold is by keeping your home dry. This page tells you some of the best ways to keep your home dry and prevent mold growth.

Inspecting Your Home For Water Leaks

Check your home for any water leaks. Especially look for leaks in water pipes in hidden areas such as in the basement or below the sink. If you find a water leak, you should fix it as soon as possible.

Ventilate Your Home to Prevent Mold

Exhaust fans help to reduce moisture in areas where water is often used such as the bathroom and kitchen. You can also open the windows for a while when the weather is dry. Outdoor air might bring in moisture when it is raining or during the night, however, so it's a good idea to shut your windows during these times.

Minimizing Humidity Helps Prevent Mold

It also helps to check the moisture level of your home. The ideal humidity level is between 30% and 50%. A humidity level of 60% or higher can put your home at risk of mold growth. A hygrometer helps to measure the humidity in your home. You can buy a hygrometer cheaply in most hardware or electronic stores. A dehumidifier can also help to regulate the humidity levels in your house.

Reduce Clutter

Decrease the number of things stored in places like the basement. These materials can grow mold, especially if they are made of paper or fabric. Consider throwing away furniture, papers, clothes, and other items if they haven't been used in the last two years. A lot of the time these stored materials are in a bad condition anyway because of their age, so there is often no point in keeping them inside and risking mold.

Indoor plants in pots of soil can also lead to mold. The soil can provide mold with the moisture and nutrients it needs to grow.

Maintain Air Conditioners

Properly maintaining air conditioners helps reduce the moisture in a home. Air conditioner drip pans should be cleaned regularly. The drain lines should flow unobstructed.

How to Prevent Mold in the Basement and Storage Areas

Avoid cluttering the basement and other storage areas. Less clutter can increase the air circulation in these areas. If possible, throw out old or damaged materials to create more space. It's also best to keep mainly washable items in the basement, since these can easily be kept clean.

During warm months, install a dehumidifier to make sure the humidity stays relatively low. Replace furnace filters regularly. If the basement has electric baseboards, carefully vacuum them or contact professional services to clean them. The basement floor drain should also be regularly cleaned using bleach and water.

How to Prevent Mold in the Bathroom

Turn on the exhaust fan when you take a bath or shower. Let it continue to run for a few minutes afterwards as well. You should also check the exhaust fan regularly to make sure it is exhausting the air out of the bathroom properly.

If you don't have an exhaust fan then open the windows instead while you bath or shower. Inspect the bathroom for any water leaks too. And wipe dry any surfaces that often get wet.

How to Prevent Mold in the Kitchen

Make sure the stove exhaust fan works properly and removes steam from the kitchen. Keep the lid on pots that are boiling, if possible, to prevent the kitchen becoming steamy. You should also clean and dry the drip pan of the refrigerator regularly. Make sure to empty the garbage every day and look out for any leaks around the sink.

How to Prevent Mold in Bedrooms

You spend much of your life in your bedroom so it's important that you keep it mold free. Make sure to keep your bedroom clean and tidy. If possible, discard any clothes, papers and other things that you no longer use. You can also install a dehumidifier in bedrooms to help prevent mold growing from humidity.

What Causes Mold?

By knowing what causes mold you can better understand how to prevent mold, and even figure out more ways to prevent mold yourself.

Mold grows from spores that are virtually everywhere. Spores are to mold as seeds are to plants. When spores find a spot with enough moisture, they can germinate, and grow into mold. A temperature of 65 degrees fahrenheit or more is ideal for mold growth.

Aside from the right temperature, mold also needs water and nutrients. The moisture for mold can come from humidity in the air. Moisture can also be produced by people doing everyday activities like cooking, washing clothes or dishes, or taking a bath. Moisture can be a sign that your home is not properly ventilated.

As for the nutrient source, mold can get its "food" from almost anything. When molds grows on clothes, it feeds on the cellulose in the fabric. When mold grows on bread, it is consuming the starch. Some mold can also grow on leather and wood. As long as it can feed on something and has enough moisture, mold can continue to grow and damage the item it is growing on.


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