It’s important to control mold in your home to ensure good indoor air quality for health reasons. Common symptoms such as headaches, sinus infections, shortness of breath, dizziness and a multitude of other side affects can be the result of exposure to various levels of molds in the home.
Serious health conditions such as mold allergies, mold toxicity and asthma are also directly linked to exposure to various molds.
Some extreme exposures to mold can lead to permanent disability and even death.
That’s why it’s extremley important to prevent mold in the home or work environment to ensure optimum health for adults and children.
Since mold is a natural part of our environment, how do we keep it from forming in indoor environments where we live, work and play?
Prevention is the Best Solution to Control Mold
Ideally, prevention is the best solution. Here are some important tips to help you to deal with mold in the home environment to avoid developing a problem in the future.
The key to mold control is to control the moisture levels in your home.
Mold spores cannot grow if moisture is absent. If you experience any type of leak, flooding or simple moisture build up, even in a bathroom, be sure to immediately clean up the moisture and correct the problem that has caused the invasion of moisture.
So, be sure to clean up water damage immediately AND dry the area for 24-48 hours so that there is no chance of mold growth.
If carpet or flooring has been water damaged, it’s best to completely remove and replace it. Don’t use carpeting in areas of the house that tend to be damp or humid such as bathrooms and basements.
More Ways to Control Mold in Your Home
1. Maintain a relative humidity level of 30% to 50%.
Mold experts recommend keeping the relative humidity in a house at 30% to 50%, although humidity levels up to 60% may be acceptable in some environments.
You can easily pick up an inexpensive humidity or moisture meter at a hardware store for as little as $15. Place the humidity meter at a central location in your house to accurately get a reading of your indoor environment.
If you have a special problem area, you can place the meter close to that space so that you can keep an eye on any additional moisture build-up. During humid months, use a dehumidifier and/or air conditioner.
Keep a dehumidifer at all times in damp basements.
2. Use safe mold cleaning products in the house to remove mold.
There are many mold cleaning products on the market today, but not all are safe in themselves to use. Some are quite toxic to humans and may cause another problem on top of your mold issue.
Simple cleaning can be done with vinegar and water as well as with other safe, non-toxic products that are not harmful to humans.
There are many green cleaning and eco friendly online stores that offer a variety of safe, nontoxic mold cleaners and inhibitors.
You can also find non-toxic sealers that can be painted on areas that have succombed to mold infestation.
3. Continually monitor your house for signs of dampness.
Watch for additional signs of high humidity in your house such as condensation on the walls, windows or pipes anywhere in the structure.
Any condensation means that there is a moisture build-up and mold growth is almost certainly occurring. You should immediately wipe down and dry the areas that show evidence of condensation.
Second, lower the humidity level in that area.
Third, create a well ventilated environment by using fans, opening windows or doors when you can, and by increasing the temperature of the air to dry the space as much as possible.
If you have condensation on pipes, be sure to dry thoroughly and wrap with adequate insulation. This will normalize the temperature around the pipes and inhibit condensation.
Mold is a common problem in homes because it is a naturally occuring organism that is quickly drawn to moisture. You can control mold growth before it develops, if you practice these simple, basic tips for maintaining a safe, healthy house.