Tips to prevent mold growth
- If a water spill occurs, act quickly. Clean up within 24-48 hours.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly. Ice can back up and melt into your home. This can create many issues, such as water and mold damage.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from a building or foundation, otherwise water can pour into basements and into the home.
- Keep air conditioning pans clean. These pans can act as literal petri dishes for bacteria and mold.
- Keep indoor humidity low. A great example of too much humidity in your home is condensation on your windows.
- Use a dehumidifier and sump pump in basements to remove excess water.
Equipment that you can use to reduce humidity levels inside your home.
Something many of us do not think about is that our homes are being built more air tight. More efficient, well built homes with lower air exchange rates means less moisture is leaving the home. The typical home produces moisture on a regular basis with laundry, steam from showers, dishes and occupant respiration. We generate 2-3 gallons of moisture a day. This additional moisture is all mold needs to thrive. Heat pumps are in many homes now and can help with the reduction of excess moisture in the air.
Those learning how heat pumps cool and dehumidify will be surprised to find out that a heat pump has two modes for reducing relative humidity levels:
Cooling mode – As the heat pump operates in cooling mode, it also removes moisture via condensation. This helps improve the unit’s overall efficiency while improving home comfort.
Dry mode – This mode causes the heat pump to alternate between heating and cooling modes, allowing the heat pump to maintain a room’s current temperature while at the same time removing excess moisture from the area.
Suggestions for areas under 10 square feet.
IE: Small area in a bathroom.
In bathroom situations, it is typically improper ventilation and installation of a new system is needed.
Clean the area with simple soap and water solution. Spray the affected area directly with vinegar. DO NOT RINSE. The vinegar creates an acid base that prevents the mold from growing back. Keep in mind though, if you have not taken care of the extra moisture in the area, the issue will return. Remember, we bring mold spores in on our clothing and shoes every day.
Mold and mildew are both terms used to describe growths of fungi. They vary slightly in shape, consistency and color. Mold comes in many colors. The color depends on the age of the mold and what food it has.
NOTE: Speak with your local insurance agent about your home owner’s insurance policy. Not all policies include coverage for mold or they have a capped limit of coverage.