Mold Prevention: Tips to a Healthier Home Environment for Your Family

The mere thought of the word black mold is enough to make a homeowner worry. Although mold is a necessity for some things such as penicillin and cheeses such as brie, it can also be very harmful to your health and wellness when detected in your home. The best approach in its banishment is to prevent the spores from growing in the first place.

Identify and Correct Problematic Areas

Mold can grow on paper, clothing, carpet, walls and food. It can even grow in areas that you’re not able to see such as inside walls, ceiling tiles and drywall. Mold is a serious problem that is costly and hard to repair. The irritants and allergens produced by the mold may compromise your family’s health. Ensuring that your children and pets have a safe environment is a primary concern of parents. But because black mold contains mycotoxins, they may be at risk for upper respiratory illnesses if it’s ever detected. There’s no proven method to mold-proof your dwelling. But there are ways that you can identify problems before they become serious hazards to your family. Become aware of condensation on windows. Water stains on ceilings may be another surefire sign. To prevent the mold from spreading, repair the issue by getting rid of damp basement carpet or tile. There are also products available to help waterproof your home. It may be costly up front, but you’ll prevent your family from becoming sick in the future.

Deal with Water Seepage Quickly

Whether the additional water in your basement is caused by flooding or from a leaky pipe, you want to deal with the water seepage problem quickly. Plan on drying the areas within 24 to 48 hours after the water has accumulated. If your personal belongings have become damaged, take them outdoors to dry. If they’re unsalvageable, you may need to make a claim with your insurance. Hire a plumber that can spot black mold and repair the leaky pipes that may be at the root of the problem. A licensed plumber will also be able to assess the integrity of your plumbing system to determine if there are any other issues.

Reduce Moisture Build-Up with Proper Ventilation

Routine chores such as showering, cooking dinner and laundry allows moisture to build up in your home. The simple routines can encourage mold to grow in your dwelling. To eliminate mold and prevent it from becoming a problem, you need to ensure that you have proper ventilation in areas such as the laundry room, kitchen and bathrooms. Appliances that eliminate moisture need to be vented outside. Dehumidifiers and air condition units should be cleaned and checked regularly, especially in climates with excessive humidity. If you’re showering, washing dishes or cooking, run the exhaust fan or open a window.

Find Mold-Resistant Products

If you’re renovating your current home or building something new, look for mold-resistant products. This is especially helpful for areas that are prone to moisture such as the basement, laundry room and bathrooms. The mold inhibitors in the products are designed to make the surfaces water-resistant.

Monitor Indoor Humidity

Per the EPA, you’ll want to keep your indoor humidity levels in the range of 30 and 60 percent. Moisture meters can be purchased from your local home improvement store. You can also pay attention to telltale signs such as window condensation and moisture on walls and pipes within the home. If you notice excess moisture, immediately dry the areas and address the problem.

Black mold is a serious problem that can wreak havoc with your family’s good health. Whether you live in wet and cold climates found in the North or you experience the heat and humidity common in the south, you want to do your best to prevent black mold by following the above tips.