Mold is that unwelcome invader in our homes that thrives in moist and humid conditions. Besides being unsightly, it’s hazardous to health and can cause severe allergy symptoms, respiratory infections, and breathing issues if left untreated.
Then there’s the aesthetic aspect. No matter how beautifully you’ve designed your living space, mold spots can degrade your home’s look and take away from the ambiance you’ve worked so hard to create.
So when you spot mold in AC vents, air ducts, walls, or anywhere in the house, take swift action to remove it and then keep it at bay.
You might say: Yes, mold is bad, but how do I get rid of it? And that’s precisely what we’ll explain today.
What if we tell you you can win against nasty mold and always keep it out of sight? When we pair professional mold removal services with careful home upkeep, booting those spores doesn’t take long.
So, if you’re ready to declare your home a mold-free zone, read on to find the best hacks to stop mold growth.
Control Humidity Levels
Mold spores love damp, humid conditions, so you often find them in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. But how can you keep humidity in check to deter these unwanted guests?
To start with, monitor the humidity level in your home. Humidity levels should ideally stay between 30% and 50% to prevent mold growth. Simple tools like a hygrometer can help you keep an eye on these levels. These devices are available at most home improvement stores and are easy to use.
If you find that your home’s humidity levels are consistently high, consider investing in a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will extract excess moisture from the air and make your home less hospitable to mold. But to experience its maximum benefits, you must empty and clean dehumidifier trays as that avoids creating a new mold-breeding site.
Another effective method to control humidity is the use of moisture-absorbing products. These are particularly useful in enclosed areas like closets and cabinets where we don’t have sunlight or air. Since the places where you dry clothes indoors, cook, or bathe, produce the maximum moisture, you should take extra care while monitoring their humidity levels.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Airing out your home restricts the spaces where mold spores can thrive. Ventilation improves air circulation, reducing moisture and depriving mold spores of the environment they need to thrive.
If you want to stop mold in air conditioner vents or ducts, check if your bathroom and kitchen are equipped with exhaust fans. These fans expel moist air outside your home, preventing it from spreading to other rooms. You should always let these fans run whenever you’re cooking, showering, or using the dishwasher.
Keeping the windows open when the weather permits will bring enough sunlight and air into your space, which contains humidity. And when there’s less or no humidity, mold cannot take over. So when performing activities that generate moisture, like cooking or washing dishes, keep the windows open. However, be mindful of the outside humidity levels; if it’s a humid day, opening windows could potentially bring in more moist air. Consider using box fans or dehumidifiers to keep the air dry and moving in areas like the basement or attic, which often have limited ventilation.
Also, understand that your home’s HVAC system plays a crucial role in ventilation. Regular HVAC maintenance services, including cleaning and replacing filters, ensures the system functions well and reduces indoor humidity.
Use Mold-Resistant Products
As the name suggests, mold-resistant products deter mold growth and are a smart addition to any home, especially those in areas prone to high humidity. The ideal case scenario to utilize mold-resistant products is during home construction or renovation.
Mold-resistant drywall and mold-resistant sheetrock are engineered to offer greater resistance to mold growth compared to traditional materials. They greatly help in rooms prone to moisture accumulation or mold in air conditioners, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
Mold-resistant paints offer further protection as they contain additives that discourage mold growth on painted surfaces. You can use them in any room of your home for added peace of mind, and keep refreshing the coat every two years.
You can also invest in certain household items and furniture now available in mold-resistant variants. For example, mold-resistant shower curtains, window blinds, and outdoor furniture can significantly reduce the likelihood of mold growth.
These products set up a proactive line of defense against mold/algae and reduce the time and effort required for mold clean-up and prevention.
Inspect Plumbing Regularly
Leaky pipes and fixtures can lead to water accumulation and create a perfect environment for mold in AC vents and ducts. Therefore, routine HVAC services and checks on your home’s plumbing system should be a part of your checklist if you wish to spot and repair any leaks before they become a problem.
Pay special attention to places where you can’t easily see, like under sinks for leak detection, behind washing machines, and in the basement. Mold loves these hidden, damp areas. Also, keep testing your bathroom and kitchen tiles, especially the grout lines, for any signs of water leakage.
Also, it’s good to inspect the roof for any leaks, as these can lead to water accumulation in your attic – a common place for mold to hide. Inspect your gutters and downspouts to ensure they’re effectively diverting water away from your home’s foundation.
And if you come across any plumbing issues, fix them immediately. If the problem is beyond your expertise, don’t hesitate to hire a professional for prompt plumbing services. It’s a small price to pay compared to the cost of extensive mold remediation later on.
Avoid Carpet in Damp Areas
Carpeting, with its warm and porous texture, can often become a magnet for mold spores, especially in damp areas of your home. Getting the right type of flooring in such areas can play a significant role in preventing mold growth.
Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms frequently come into contact with water and are typically high in humidity. You should opt for non-porous flooring options such as ceramic tiles, vinyl, or concrete in these areas. These materials are resistant to moisture and less likely to foster mold growth.
Rugs can be a practical alternative to carpets in these areas. Unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, you can easily pick up rugs, clean them, and dry them out in the sun. The sunlight helps kill any potential mold spores, along with minimizing the risks of allergies.
If you must have a carpet in a room that could get damp, prefer a low-pile carpet and have a dehumidifier or efficient ventilation system to keep the humidity level low. Regular vacuuming also helps keep carpets dry and mold-free.
Direct Water Away from Home
Water pooling around your home’s foundation is a potential invitation for mold to infiltrate your living space. When you direct water away from your home, it significantly lowers the risk of moisture seeping into your walls.
The first place to start is with your gutters and downspouts. Keep them clean and free of debris to ensure they efficiently carry rainwater away from your house. If the drains need excessive maintenance, get professional drain cleaning services.
It’s also wise to extend your downspouts to direct water several feet away from your home’s foundation. Investigate your yard’s slope as well because, ideally, your yard should slope away from your home. It allows rainwater to naturally flow away from the foundation, and if this isn’t the case, you might want to consider landscaping solutions to correct the slope.
Plus, consider using a French drain system for enhanced water management. A French drain is a trench filled with gravel or rock that contains a perforated pipe to redirect surface water away from your home. A rain garden is another effective solution, as it is a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from roofs, driveways, or patios to be absorbed.
Use Air Purifiers
Mold spores are airborne particles that can be filtered out of your environment with the use of air purifiers, helping to mitigate the risk of mold taking root in your home.
When choosing an air purifier for mold prevention, you should prefer models featuring a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. HEPA filters capture tiny particles, including mold spores, and are thus highly effective in maintaining a clean indoor air environment.
Some air purifiers also come with UV-C light, which can kill mold spores and prevent them from reproducing. Place the air purifiers strategically in your home but remember that while they can help control airborne mold spores, you should pair them with other preventive measures like controlling humidity and ensuring proper ventilation for best results.
Keep House Plants in Check
House plants bring a touch of greenery to a home, but if not properly maintained, they can contribute to mold growth. The soil of house plants, given its organic nature and moisture content, can be a perfect breeding ground for mold.
So if you want to see soothing indoor greenery, get mold-resistant potting soil, as some soils come with added mold inhibitors. Alternatively, you can add a layer of decorative rocks or gravel on top of the soil to reduce the soil’s exposure to moisture.
Also, overwatering plants increases the potential for mold growth, so only water when necessary and let the soil dry out between watering.
Properly Vent Appliances
Several appliances in your home generate moisture during their operation, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and heaters. If these appliances are not properly vented, the excess moisture can lead to mold growth, so take care of that.
Since trapped dryer moisture can cause mold, ensure that your clothes dryer vents to the outside of your home. Trapped dryer moisture can quickly lead to mold issues, so your home should have an unrestricted path for the hot, moist air to exit your home. Remember to clean the dryer vent regularly to prevent lint buildup as it accumulates moisture.
Using an exhaust fan in your kitchen also reduces moisture levels, but like the clothes dryer, this fan should vent to the outside of your home. If you don’t have a built-in exhaust fan, always open a window while cooking or use a portable fan to help circulate air.
For other moisture-generating appliances, like heaters and humidifiers, you should ensure that they are used responsibly. Always keep the moisture levels within the recommended range of 30% to 50%, and maintain your appliances so they function properly.
Maintain Your Gutters
Clean gutters prevent water from seeping into your walls, basement, or crawl spaces—places where mold is most likely to form, by directing rainwater away from your home.
Firstly, it’s good to ensure that your gutters are free of leaves, twigs, or other debris that can cause blockages. A blocked gutter can cause water to overflow and accumulate around your foundation. Regular cleaning, especially during the fall and spring when debris is most likely to build up, is a crucial part of gutter maintenance.
Also, check your gutters for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Cracks, holes, or rust can lead to leaks, which can result in water seeping into your home’s walls or foundation. If you spot any signs of damage, repair or replace the affected sections promptly.
Downspouts should direct water at least three feet away from your home. If they don’t, consider adding downspout extensions to ensure water is led safely away from your foundation.
Takeaway On The Smartest Ways To Stop Mold Growth In Your Home
Hopefully, you’ve now learned some handy tricks you can use to ward off unwanted mold from your home sweet home.
Keeping humidity levels in check, ensuring proper ventilation, and maintaining cleanliness can do wonders to prevent mold growth. Also, air purifiers and dehumidifiers play a substantial role in containing mold growth.
When you have the right information and make a little effort, you can keep your living space healthy and mold-free. And if you need help in stopping mold from taking over your house, get professional HVAC maintenance services to uproot this issue!
How can I identify mold in my home?
You can identify mold by visible growth, which can appear in various colors like black, green, or white. It might look like a fuzzy, velvety, or slimy patch. Additionally, a musty odor can also indicate the presence of mold. Some hidden mold can be discovered by noticing water damage or discoloration on walls, ceilings, or floors.
Is all mold dangerous?
While not all molds are dangerous, many types can cause health issues, especially for people with allergies, asthma, or immune deficiencies. Common symptoms associated with mold exposure include nasal congestion, coughing, and skin irritation. Some molds, like black mold, can be more hazardous and should be immediately addressed.
Can I clean mold myself?
Small areas of mold can often be cleaned with household cleaning solutions or mold-killing products. However, larger infestations, or molds growing in difficult-to-reach areas, should be handled by professionals. Always wear protective gear when dealing with mold to avoid exposure.