How to Prevent and Eliminate Mold in Your Home
If you have a mold problem in your home, there are steps you can take right now to mitigate it. Mold is everywhere. The fungus can be found growing in nature, on decaying foods, and in damp, dark corners of your home. While it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all molds from your living space, preventing its widespread growth will help control adverse health effects and structural damage to your home. Read on to learn more about different ways to prevent mold growth in your home.
To prevent mold growth, controlling moisture is key. The best way to get an idea of your home’s moisture level is to buy a humidity meter, or hygrometer, at your nearest hardware store. During the winter months in Alexandria, you’ll want to keep your home’s relative humidity between 40 and 50 percent, and under 60 percent at all other times of the year. To lower your humidity levels, open your windows and run fans when possible. On humid days, use your air conditioner or a dehumidifier—or both together.
Repairing Roof Leaks
Attics are one of mold’s favorite spots to grow: they are cool, dark, and often have plenty of moisture due to leaking roofs. To prevent the growth of mold in your attic, be sure to have your roof inspected routinely for leaks. This will not only help control mold growth, but will also prevent water damage to your roof, walls, and ceilings.
Controlling Water Runoff
Basements and crawlspaces are other common places for mold to appear. You can prevent leaks to your basement and resulting mold growth by better managing water runoff on your property. If gutters are clogged or if your yard slopes downward toward your home, the buildup of water will inevitably lead to leaks into your basement. Be sure to clean gutters frequently, and consider working with a professional landscaper to enhance water runoff.
Poorly ventilated areas such as bathrooms and closets are especially vulnerable to mold growth. To get the ventilation you need, keep closet doors open whenever possible, and run fans in rooms that feel stuffy or humid. In bathrooms and kitchens, be sure to run ventilation fans whenever possible if you’re concerned about mold growth.
Drying, Cleaning, and Disinfecting Surfaces
Once you have taken steps to prevent mold growth, the next step is to eliminate it where it already exists. Wearing a mask and gloves, thoroughly dry the area that you plan to clean. Use a stiff brush and a non-ammonia soap or commercial cleaner to thoroughly scrub the area. You can then use a bleach solution to disinfect the area after you’re done.
Are you looking for more ways to improve the air quality of your home? Check out our indoor air quality page or call McCarthy at (703) 924-1650.