Mold is everywhere. In fact, it plays an important role in nature by breaking down dead organic matter. While we recognize that mold plays a vital part in the balance of our natural environment, it doesn’t mean we want it or welcome it in our homes.
Mold can grow almost anywhere and only needs moisture to take hold. Once in place, it can affect your health and damage or destroy parts of your home. To best protect your family and property from the dangers mold presents, it’s best to take preventative measures and eliminate mold from the start.
What Does Mold Need to Grow?
- Mold needs moisture, and in the home there are plenty of places that are susceptible. Moisture can come from leaks in pipes, roofs, or windows. Condensation and high humidity can also cause mold growth.
- Mold can form on almost any surface including wood, paint, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, upholstery, and other materials. Once a surface becomes wet or damp, mold can begin to grow there if it is not dried properly.
How Does Mold Spread?
- Tiny mold spores, invisible to the eye, are everywhere in nature. They float throughout indoor and outdoor spaces and can catch on clothing, bags, or other materials. Mold begins growing indoors when these spores land on surfaces that are damp or wet.
How Can I Prevent Mold Growth?
- Keep your home dry. Mold will not grow unless moisture is present. It only takes 24-48 hours of moisture for mold to begin growing. If mold is found in your home, it needs to be cleaned up and the moisture problem needs to be fixed immediately.
- Inspect your home for water leaks. If you find a leak, take care of it right away. If pipes are cracked, rusted, or in disrepair, replace them.
- Keep your home well ventilated to keep humidity low. Dehumidifiers and HVAC systems can be used to help keep air moving. Open windows often and take time to air out closets and confined spaces every so often.
- Use proper ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms. Use exhaust fans to reduce moisture buildup from cooking, washing, and doing dishes.
- When things get wet, dry them up quickly.
- Get rid of grime and dirt with diligent cleaning, disinfecting, and drying of surfaces that may be prone to mold growth. Vacuum often to remove dust and other particles that mold can grow on easily. 80% of mold grows on dust!
- Do not leave wet clothes lying in a pile. If using a dryer for wet clothes, be sure the laundry room is well ventilated and exhausts to the outside if possible.
- Mold thrives in dark indoor spaces. Open curtains in rooms during the day to let sunlight in.
Mold growth can quickly become a very serious problem. Cleanup and removal should happen right away and needs to be done effectively to prevent the possibility of further damage. Following preventative measures to keep things dry is the best way to protect your family’s health and your home from the risks of mold.
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