Exposure to mold is more common than you think!
Your home may be infected with mold, but you don’t realize it. Exposure to mold is common both inside and outside the home. Some people are more sensitive than others, especially those with allergies and asthma. Because mold spores are very small and can easily be inhaled into the lungs, it is harmful to live in a home with high mold levels. Exposure to high spore levels can cause severe mold allergies.
How do I know if I have mold and what do I do?
Molds grow on organic materials such as paper, leather, dirt and soap scum. They grow best at warm, moist temperatures, between 72 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit ( 22 to 27 degrees Celsius).
The simplest way to detect a mold problem is using your own senses. A musty odor is one indication. Not only is mold smelly, but can be many different colors from black and gray to orange and green. Watermarks on the ceiling and walls are also a telltale sign.
Most often bleach and water can be used to rid the house of mold. The problem is this does not guarantee that the mold will not come back. The only way to keep your house clean is to prevent mold from occurring.
Here are 7 tips for mold prevention:
Wet materials need to be dried quickly.
Mold will grow within 2 days given the right conditions. Leaving your wet towel or other item lying around inside or outside the house gives mold a chance. Ever left your laundry in the washer for too long? The nasty smell when you pull it out is mold.
Cleaning, disinfecting and drying surfaces prevents mold growth.
Surfaces like sinks or floors are also favorite places for mold; more so if they are wet most of the time. Luckily these are typically non porous surfaces (tile, stone, laminate…) which makes them ideal for disinfectants and other cleaners. Some people consider the strongest and safest method of disinfecting to be a vapor steam cleaner. Once finished cleaning, make sure no moisture remains. Mold can grow faster than you think. Making sure your surfaces are dry prevents other hazards for the residents living there too.
Reduce moisture levels in the bathroom by running an exhaust fan during and after showers.
Your foggy mirror isn’t the worst problem you’ll have if you don’t use the fan during your shower. The moisture in the air is getting into every nook and cranny, the kind of places that are very hard to clean, even if you do notice the mold growing there. Exhaust fans help minimize the moisture level in the bathroom as well as the possibility of growing mold.
Fix plumbing leaks and seepage to prevent the buildup of moisture and prevent the growth of mold.
Leaks are caused by pipes that have disintegrated already. It is important to replace old pipes as soon as they show signs of being dilapidated. The moisture from a leaky pipe will travel much further than just the visible signs. No matter how much you try to keep the house clean, there are still areas that you are neglecting or can’t get to. Those are the places mold loves to grow.
Store clothing, camping gear, and other occasional use items dry and clean to prevent the growth of mold.
Thoroughly dry your items before putting them into storage. Try to put them outside or in places where there is air circulating. The last thing you want to find out on a camping trip is that your tent was put away wet last time and is covered in mold.
Increase the flow of air within your home.
Moving furniture away from walls and opening closet doors to permit air circulation limits the growth of molds. Confined spaces and dark areas should be kept ventilated. Open windows are preferable over fans and air conditioning. There should be a stable availability of fresh air coming inside the house to prevent mold.
Deal with your basement!, and prevent condensation.
Lets face it, no one likes going down to the musty basement. You just need to man (or woman) up and deal with it. Whether that means running a dehumidifier, installing a foundation drain, or getting more air circulation, don’t let that moisture remain trapped under you home. Insulating walls and installing storm or thermal pane windows keeps walls warm and limits condensation.
Other additional mold prevention tips :
You may not realize it yet but those beautiful plants you have in your home could be harboring unwanted friends and foes. Plants are great for helping to keep the air in the home clean but can also be a source of mold. Molds like to grow in the soil of our house plants and sometimes on the leaves.
One simple treatment can help keep your houseplants mold free. Taheboo tea can help to retard mold growth in your plants soil. Just adding this tea to your house plant water in a mild solution is enough to do the trick!