Discovering mold in your home can surely feel like a nightmare. As an unwanted toxin that can rapidly spread without warning, it’s no wonder people dread the mere thought of it. While some people believe that mold is most prevalent in warm and humid regions, mold can also exist in cooler climates if it is presented with the right conditions.
Knowing the conditions mold will thrive in can play a major role in preventing it from infiltrating your home. Mold can go undetected for exceptionally prolonged periods of time, sometimes even months and years.
To keep your living environment free from this toxin, we recommend a few easy tips and tricks. For starters, it’s important to understand the most common places for mold to grow within your home.
These places include areas of high moisture:
In order for mold to develop and thrive, it requires “the perfect storm” of three major components: heat, humidity, and a food source. The ideal temperature for mold is somewhere between 76- and 87-degrees Fahrenheit with humidity levels that fall somewhere in between the range of 60 and 95 percent.
This is why mold growth is much more common in warmer, more humid regions of the world as well as the summer months (June through August). Mold is also commonly known to grow in areas of the home with higher levels of moisture including near bathtubs and showers, underneath sinks and faucets, near dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators, and HVAC systems.
Preventing mold is preventing the conditions where it’s likely to thrive. Now that you know which environments that mold is most likely to develop, here are some useful tips to preventing its existence.
When a space isn’t ventilated properly by poor or missing vent fans, naturally damp areas of the home can become increasingly damp which is the perfect breeding ground for mold. Be sure that your ventilation systems are running efficiently with functioning fans that are properly sized and deliver the moisture from your home outside rather than into your attic. Another great tip is to leave your bathroom door open after a hot shower. The moisture that builds up from this can cause mold if it is confined to a small space.
Beware of a less efficient air conditioning unit because it could quickly and sneakily be draining your wallet. If you suspect this is happening to you, consider an immediate AC replacement.
If your home has an HVAC system, it’s crucial to use a high-quality air filter. If you or your family is prone to allergies, this is especially important and we recommend pleated filters to block out allergens and toxins. Another great option is to invest in an electronic air cleaner either for rooms that are prone to mold growth or for your entire home. These air filtration systems use ionization technology to attract particles to their filters and protect your home’s air quality.
These filters are highly productive in successfully removing tiny yet harmful particles from the air and simply require a yearly filter replacement. By doing this, you’re improving your home’s air quality and lowering the chances of mold production.
Moisture is key for mold to thrive, so without moisture, mold can’t grow. If you have a leak or spill, especially in a part of your home that is naturally higher in moisture, take the necessary steps to dry up the moisture as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
It’s also a smart idea to hang up wet clothes and materials to dry, rather than allowing them to sit on the floor or in a balled-up fashion. This will most certainly promote a mold-friendly breeding ground. When cleaning the surfaces in your home, consider drying them rather than allowing them to air dry. The extra moisture in the air could add to the likelihood of mold growth.
Another great way to ensure you’re keeping areas in your home dry is by installing and maintaining a sump pump in your basement. Basements are notoriously wet and sump pumps will help lower the chance of extra moisture.
As we know, humidity is mold’s best friend. It’s important to keep humidity levels in the home low and you can do so by utilizing the vent fans in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. If you don’t have vent fans in these rooms, consider installing them and using them often.
You can also lower the humidity in your home by installing or utilizing your HVAC’s humidification system. In the summer months, it’s a good idea to run the air conditioning unit every so often, even if it’s not unusually hot, because this promotes positive circulation in the air and decreases the chances of the air in your home getting “stale.”
Did you know that indoor plants can greatly improve your homes air quality? Live plants are an excellent natural source of air filtration and can even remove unwanted toxins and chemicals from things like pain and chemical based cleaners. If you’re a pet owner, be sure to check into which plants are non-toxic for your furry friends in case they decide to nibble on the leaves.
If you discover mold in your home, it’s best to contact a professional immediately. Mold can be quite deceiving and there may be more lingering in places you can’t see. While mold infestation is serious, smaller amounts of mold can sometimes be handled on your own.
You can begin removing smaller, trace amounts of mold with aggressive materials like bleach, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. If you’re looking for a more natural option, tea tree oil has also been known to be quite effective.
If you’re facing a mold issue, don’t wait. Take the necessary steps to face the issue and remove it as quickly as possible. If you’re looking to prevent mold from occurring in your home, these steps will help promote a less damp and humid environment for it to grow. The most important thing to remember is that mold requires heat, humidity, and food to thrive. By removing these three factors, you can ensure that mold won’t infiltrate your home and your air.
Our qualified HVAC Contractors are here to help. If you are in the Dallas, Fort Worth area please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quote.