Mold Prevention Made Easy
Does the word “mold” make you squirm in your seat? Just the mental picture of fuzzy black dots popping up on your ceilings or festering underneath cabinets is enough to make homeowners shiver.
Although beneficial aspects of mold have been harnessed medicinally (as in the case of penicillin), it is extremely bad for our health when we are exposed to it in the environment.
Unfortunately, wherever there is moisture for a prolonged period of time there is bound to be mold. When it grows unnoticed in your home it is even more detrimental.
Because mold spreads easily and cannot be completely eliminated and it can get a footing and proliferate in places ranging from food, clothing, carpet and more frequently in hidden places like behind ceiling tiles and around leaking pipes.
Mold is a serious problem: not only does it majorly impact a home’s value – it can significantly impact your health.
So what can you do to deal with it? Once mold has gotten started, the only sure solution is to shell out for expensive professional remediation. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, then you should be focused on prevention. By far the best solution is to be on top of it before it becomes a serious problem.
While there is no magic way to completely mold-proof your home, you can definitely take steps to making a house mold-resistant. Start by walking through every room of your house and taking note of problem areas.
Condensation as a Culprit
Any room where condensation, leaking water, or flooding have occurred are places to take note of. Common culprits are cabinets that are located close to water sources. Something as sneaky as a leak from the ice-maker in your refrigerator could be contributing to mold growth out of site.
Keep your nose primed for any musty smells and watch for wood that is losing its structural integrity or rotting. These are major indicators of potential mold growth.
After investigating the kitchen, the next place you should focus on is the bathroom.
It’s common for small amounts of mildew to be present on shower curtains or around bathrooms where the climate is prone to continuous heat and moisture. But you’ll want to make sure this doesn’t get out of hand. Keep regular cleaning a priority.
To give yourself a head start, you can opt for antifungal shower curtains and shower mats. These will help stave off mildew, but don’t think that it makes your bathroom immune – even products like this will require occasional cleaning to stay fungus free.
Certain plants have been proven to be effective at improving indoor air quality. On average, indoor air is nearly 30 percent more polluted than the air outside which means that plants are going to be your best friend when it comes to dealing with issues like airborne mold spores. Plants work like friendly little filters and take in toxins through their roots and leaves. When the plants breaths in air, toxins are broken down by microbes in the soil.
Rooms occupied by healthy plants can be expected to have up to 50% less mold spores and bacteria than areas without them. One of the most effective plants for removing mold spores is English Ivy – making it a great plant for greening up a bathroom. Some varieties that you may want to consider are: Chinese evergreen, bamboo spider plants, philodendron, snake plants and dracaena varieties of plants. The areca palm, reed palm, lady palm, and dwarf date palm also have a filtering effect and could be beneficial plants to your home.
Keep an eye on your humidity inside. The EPA advises keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. Humidity can be measured with moisture meters. If an area in the home gets wet, try to clean it up immediately as it only takes a couple of days for mold to start to manifest in these damp, moisture-filled areas.
Have adequate ventilation in your home to prevent moisture from stagnating. In particularly high humidity climates, consider dehumidifiers as an aid to air conditioners in keeping humidity levels from becoming too mold-friendly.
Watch out for peeling wallpaper – mold can find room to grow behind wallpaper and can even take hold in the wallpaper’s fixative.
Mold can be a real hassle to deal with. Fortunately, with the right preventative measures, keeping it at bay isn’t too difficult. With a little prevention, you can enjoy a nice mold-free house!