Home Improvement

How to Prevent Mold in Your Home

How to Prevent Mold in Your Home

Were you aware that Planet Earth is home to at least 100,000 identified mold species? Or that approximately 1,000 of those fungi species are in the United States? That includes inside buildings and homes.

Unfortunately, when molds find their way indoors and land on damp spots, they can colonize in 24 to 48 hours. They can then release spores that promote even more growth. Worse, exposure to these “seeds” can lead to adverse health effects.

That should be enough reason to learn how to prevent mold growth inside your home.

Don’t worry, though, as that’s what we’re here to teach you. So, read on to learn the top mold prevention strategies you can follow today.

Invest in Regular Plumbing System Inspections

The typical U.S. household has plumbing leaks that waste almost 10,000 gallons of water, on average, per year. One in 10 homes even waste at least 90 gallons per day, summing up to 32,850 gallons a year.

Those leaks not only squander water but also lead to unnecessary bill spikes. In addition, they promote mold growth since they add moisture to indoor air. Molds, in turn, thrive in damp environments filled with oxygen and cellulose-containing materials.

Thus, finding and fixing leaky pipes is integral to preventing mold inside your home. Besides, they’re also necessary steps before a mold removal procedure. After all, molds can keep growing as long as there’s excess moisture indoors.

So, it’s best to schedule your home plumbing system for inspections at least once a year. That allows professional plumbers to detect and repair leaky pipes on the spot. However, it’s wise to call them for help immediately if you suspect you have hidden pipe damage.

Schedule Routine Roof Inspections

Typical roofing systems in the U.S. can last anywhere from 20 years (asphalt shingle) to 150 years (slate). However, that still depends on the local climate, weather events, and maintenance. These factors can give rise to roof problems; for instance, a lack of roof upkeep can put it at risk of leaks.

When that happens, rain and melted snow can penetrate your roofing system. The water can then make its way into your home, resulting in increased humidity. Therefore, roof leaks can also promote molds, just like plumbing leaks.

So, why not hire a local roofing contractor to inspect your system once a year? That enables the pros to check for and fix damages, such as missing tiles, dents, or cracks.

However, if you already have a leaky roof, you likely have signs of mold in the attic or the ceiling. In that case, call a roof repair service ASAP to prevent even more moisture from getting into your home. Otherwise, more water can penetrate and allow molds to grow indoors.

Use Bathroom and Kitchen Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are devices that draw excess moisture and odors out of a room or an area. For that reason, you can often find them installed in bathrooms and kitchens. After all, hot showers and cooking produce steam that raises indoor humidity.

If you don’t have bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans yet, it’s high time to invest in some. Once installed, make it a habit to run them during and after taking a shower or cooking. That can help lower the humidity in these rooms, helping prevent mold growth and spread.

Weatherize Windows

Windows are excellent options for natural and passive ventilation. But if they develop gaps and leaks, they can become a moisture source, encouraging mold growth. They can do that by condensing water vapors in the air.

For instance, suppose it’s hot outside, so you run your air conditioner. If you have leaky windows, it’s not going to be long until you see water droplets on the glass panes. That’s condensation at work and, if left untreated, can spawn mold colonies.

Missing or chipped caulking and failed seals are common culprits of leaky windows. Fortunately, you can apply new caulking and replace defective seals (or have a pro do it on your behalf). You can also add storm windows, weatherstripping, or films for further weatherization.

Make Your Home More Flood-Resistant

The cost of floods and hurricane damage in the U.S. reached $100 billion in 2021 alone. In addition, the number of people exposed to flooding can multiply by almost twice over the next 30 years.

That should prompt you to make changes to your home to make it better at resisting floods. Doing so can help mitigate the destruction that floods and mold growth can bring.

You can start by sealing cracks and holes in the basement and water-proofing its floors and walls. Installing flood vents (permanent wall openings for water to pass in and out) can also help. A sewer backflow valve is also a worthy investment, as it can keep overflowing sewage out of your home.

What if you already experienced a recent flooding or water intrusion event? In that case, it might be best to call a mold inspection and remediation company.

According to Removemoldjacksonville.com, a mold inspection can take only 30 minutes. If the pros find molds, they can start the mold removal and remediation process right away. In some cases, that includes a mold prevention method that can last for 90 days or more.

Get a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a device that extracts moisture out of the air and thus, lowers humidity levels. It works by collecting damp indoor air, wringing water vapors out of it, and then expelling the now-dry air. It can help keep your home’s indoor humidity at 30% to 50%.

Some dehumidifiers are portable, while others are permanent installations. As you can imagine, the portable ones cost less, and you can also move them from one room to another. However, a whole-house model may also be worthy if you have a big home and want to dehumidify all its rooms.

Prevent Mold Growth With These Tips

And there you have it, the ultimate guide on how you can prevent mold from growing in your home. Remember: The most crucial step is to fix moisture sources, such as plumbing, roof, and window leaks. Don’t forget proper ventilation, flood-proofing, and dehumidifying can also help.

As long as you follow those tips, you can reduce the odds of molds invading your home.

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