Mold, though not always seen, can grow on almost any surface in your home, but it cannot grow without moisture. When it comes to fighting mold, you will find the most success through moisture control. Be on the lookout for dampness and humidity in your home. If you can keep problem areas dry, you will greatly decrease your chances of mold growth. There are steps that you can take daily to reduce moisture in your home and hinder mold growth.
The EPA suggests keeping your indoor humidity levels between 30% and 60% to prevent mold. A huge indicator of excess humidity is condensation. Check windows, walls, and door for moisture buildup. Humidity levels can also be monitored with humidity meters and moisture test strips found at most hardware stores.
Clean up water and address leaks right away. Don't wait for messes to air dry. Instead, wipe up spills and leaks with a towel to ensure that the surface is dry. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours. With mold growth comes the potential fro mold colonization. Mold spores travel in the air and attach themselves to surfaces in your home. Drying wet surfaces immediately is crucial to mold prevention.
Open windows and turn on fans whenever you are cooking, cleaning, and showering. These daily activities can greatly increase moisture levels. Promoting air flow will help keep things dry and help prevent mold. Drying things by hand is never a bad idea either! Wipe away any condensation you see. Consider wiping dry the bathroom walls and ceiling after you shower, and hang your towel in a way that will allow it to dry faster, as well.
Check Indoor Plants
Mold thrives in wet, warm soil. If mold begins to grow in your potted plants, the spores can spread to other surfaces in your home. To avoid excessive exposure to mold, take measures to prevent its growth in your household plants.
Direct Water Away from Home
Make sure that your gutters are not clogged or damaged. Overflowing gutters can cause leaks in the roof. If gutters are not enough, install downspouts to further direct water away from your foundation.
Cover Your Crawl Space
Groundwater underneath your home can result in moisture and water vapor in your crawl space. If you do not often access this area of your home, you might cover it with plastic during wet months. This will reduce the chances of excess moisture and mold.
Alter Laundry Habits
Avoid leaving wet clothes in the washer. Mold can begin to grow on wet laundry and spread throughout your home. If you hand your clothes to dry, consider hanging them outside. If that is not an option, open windows or turn on fans when air drying laundry.
Colorado has a fairly dry climate, but this does not mean that we are off the hook. Do your best to prevent mold, know the signs, and take precautions if necessary. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment's Mold Information Sheet is a fantastic resource for homeowners. If you think you have a mold problem, you may need to call a professional. Solid Rock Realty is always happy to provide mold inspection and remediation recommendations.