5 Tips to Help Prevent Future Mold Problems
1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.
Do an audit of your home: where are the problem areas? Do you notice frequent condensation on a window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Condensation can be a sign of high humidity. If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. It might cost some money up front to fix the problem, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.
2. Dry wet areas immediately.
Mold can’t grow without moisture, so when water leaks or spills occur indoors – ACT QUICKLY. Water intrusion after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you’ve experienced a flood, contact a water damage restoration professional quickly to help minimize damage and dry the home rapidly.
3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.
Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher, etc. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by keeping air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly. Never turn your AC unit off or set it above 76 degrees, especially in the summer months.
4. Monitor humidity indoors.
The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores. You’ll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls.
5. Clean or repair roof gutters.
Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.