Over 50% of homes in the United States experience mold growth, capable of causing allergies and increasing life-threatening health conditions.
Even the cleanest homes or buildings may have molds growing in hidden places.
Detecting mold in your home or workplace is not an ordeal that ends with simple removal. If necessary measures are not taken, you face the risk of having these problematic fungi returning into your building in just a few days.
Why do molds regrow after they have been cleaned? What can you do to prevent mold growth in your home and business in the first place?
If these are questions you need answers to, then this article is just for you.
To avoid having to combat mold in your home or workplace, it is best to understand the causes of mold and the ways to prevent it from invading your space. This article will discuss:
- What causes mold growth?
- How to prevent mold growth in your home or office
Now, let’s get right into it.
What causes mold growth?
Molds reproduce through spores that are naturally occurring and can be found floating in the air around us. These spores are microscopic and harmless when they are present in small quantities. However, a large number of spores in the home can lead to allergies or mold symptoms, especially in children and sensitive people. Prolonged exposure to mold in non-sensitive people can also result in adverse health effects.
Mold growth is primarily caused by moisture, oxygen, and a source of food (usually organic materials like wood, paper, carrot, insulation, etc.). Molds feed on their host material, thereby causing structural damage to your property.
The best way to prevent mold from growing in your house or workplace is to control moisture.
When the spores land on a warm, damp spot, they begin to reproduce and develop into active mold.
Although mold is an important part of our ecosystem that helps break down organic matter, when it grows in unwanted places like your living room or office, it can pose a threat to your health and that of other occupants.
How to prevent mold growth in your home or office?
Below are very effective measures you can take to keep mold away from your house or workplace.
1. Avoid prolonged standing water or moisture
Molds love moisture. Therefore, the first and most important thing to do is ensure that you do not have any warm or damp place in the home that stays undisturbed.
It is near impossible to have parts of the home that are never wet or damp but make sure you keep these places dry as quickly as you can.
Areas, where there has been flooding should also be thoroughly cleaned and dried to avoid breeding molds.
2. Repair faulty water sources
Leaks and water damage are some of the top causes of mold growth in any building. If you have any faulty water faucet, leaking walls, or roof, it is best to get them repaired in the shortest time to avoid creating a suitable space for molds to develop.
Regularly check your building for any leakages or damp walls. As soon as you discover a leak, remove any wet materials like drywall or allow it to dry by exposing it to sunlight.
A more severe problem like basement walls may require professional mold removal services to help you dry out the walls faster.
Repairing faulty taps or leaks is not only crucial in preventing mold growth. It also prevents mold recurrence. If you remove mold around a leak without repairing the defective appliance, there is a high chance of the mold reoccurring.
3. Observe routine inspection of your building
Besides regular inspection and repair of any water damage, it is also important to check for visible mold around the house. This way, you can spot mold growth early and remove them.
Most significantly, keep your eyes on those areas where molds are most likely to thrive. These includes:
- Window sills
- Underneath your carpets
- Attics and
- Kitchens, especially beneath the sinks
- How to get rid of mold in your bathroom?
- How to identify, remove and prevent mold in your basement?
- Are you facing mold issues in your kitchen? Read this to find out more.
4. Avoid tight sealed doors and windows
Some conditions, such as infiltration and condensation, are the top causes of mold on windows. These should be checked regularly to prevent mold growth. A few tips to avoid condensation of windows are;
- Keep your windows open as often as the weather permits. Doing this will let natural air in, which will keep your window frames dry.
- Clean the windows and window frames regularly as dust also contributes to the growth of mold.
- Wipe windows and frames every morning to prevent condensation.
- Reduce condensation on your walls by keeping the home or office heated even when you’re outside.
- Leave some space between your walls and furniture like wardrobe, cabinets, chairs, etc.
- If you cannot keep your windows open often, you can control the air in the home by opening two windows at the same time for 10 minutes every day. This is as long as it takes to remove stale air in your home.
- When cleaning your windows, use warm water, mild soap, and a soft cloth. Always clean both the interior and exterior sides of the window.
5. Control the humidity level within your home
Water in the air and humidity are major causes of mold growth in homes and other buildings. It is often recommended to get an air purifier or dehumidifier within the home, but this is not enough in preventing mold growth.
Measuring and maintaining the humidity level in your home is a great way to inhibit the occurrence of mold. You can obtain a hygrometer or humidity gauge to help you measure and control the day-to-day humidity level within the building.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is best to keep indoor relative humidity (RH) between 30 to 50 percent all the time to avoid the growth of molds.
6. Maintain proper ventilation
Most of our daily routines lead to an increase in hot air within the home. Places where cooking, washing, and bathing is carried out adds to the moisture content of the home, creating a tremendous thriving environment for molds.
While you can hardly avoid cooking or bathing, you can prevent these activities from causing mold growth by making sure to keep your home well ventilated.
Below are some tips on maintaining proper ventilation in your kitchens, laundry, and bathrooms:
- Make sure your fans and filters are working correctly. Regularly remove and clean them to ensure they keep circulating air properly.
- Open your windows and doors once in a while to boost airflow.
- Ventilate your shower, laundry, and cooking areas using exhaust fans that vent outside the building. Clothes dryers should also vent outside.
7. Use mold inhibitors
Before painting the house or any building, add mold inhibitors to your paint. This will serve as protection and prevent the growth of molds on the walls of your building.
8. Work with a mold removal professional
While you can prevent mold by following all the measures mentioned above, there are still many places mold can grow that you may be unable to reach.
The insides of walls and the corners behind furniture are hidden places where molds tend to hide. Also, molds are continually evolving and finding new ways to thrive in unusual areas around the home.
As a result, you must seek the help of a professional for both mold remediation and prevention. Our experts at EcoFMR.com do not only inspect your home for mold and offer mold remediation services. They also educate you on all you need to know to keep mold away from your home or office. We will even advise on the differences between mold remediation and mold removal and what you should consider.
This article was originally published in Dec-2020 and was last updated in Apr-2021.