Home Improvement

How to Protect Your Home from Mold

Mold can cause allergy symptoms and even asthma. Some types of mold are more dangerous than others, but all of them look bad and should be removed immediately.

Steve Schulz at Dry Basement Solutions says, “The best treatment for mold is prevention. Moisture control is the key to stopping mold before it can form.” The following tips will help prevent mold in your house, and most of them can be done yourself.

7 Tips to Prevent Mold from Growing in Your Home

1. Keep Everything Dry

Mold grows quickly. Spills, damp clothes and linens, and wet pets shouldn’t be left alone.

If you hang your clothes to dry, dry them outside. Clean up spills right away, and dry off your dog or cat when they come in the house and after baths. They will track water and dirt around your house that will grow mold if you don’t clean your floors right away.

If you find yourself out in the rain, make sure you’re also drying yourself off. Leave wet shoes in a garage or on a front porch and hang your raincoat to dry away from the rest of your coats.

2. Clean and Disinfect Problem Areas Often

The drying areas will also need to be cleaned and disinfected often. Keeping everything in a few spots only keeps mold from spreading to the rest of your house. It can still grow in these problem areas.

However, these aren’t the only places that can grow mold. You’ll also need to keep up with cleaning your sinks, toilets, floors, and appliances. When you clean these areas, make sure you also dry them.

3. Fix Any Leaks Immediately

Mold loves to grow in your walls, and leaky plumbing will only make that problem worse. If there are noticeable leaks in your pipes, there could be more behind your walls.

If you see water damage in your walls or suspect you have mold growing, have a professional plumber check all of your pipes. What’s behind your walls will eventually spread into your home.

4. Improve Air Flow

A stuffy home will lead to humidity and excess moisture. Make sure your appliances and shower are properly vented outside.

If you don’t have ventilation fans, crack your windows open when you’re cooking or cleaning. Bringing in the air from outside is always better than air conditioning unless it’s more humid outside than inside.

Also, keep furniture away from your walls, and leave closets cracked open so they can get some fresh air. Dark, quiet, undisturbed spaces are optimal for mold.

5. Get a Dehumidifier

If you happen to live in a very humid climate, you might need to invest in a dehumidifier. These devices can either be emptied manually or drain directly outside.

They can lower the humidity in problem areas, help eliminate dust mites, improve your air quality, and automatically turn on and off. Make sure you’ve done everything you can to cut down on internal humidity first.

Steps you can take include, insulating pipes and walls to cut down on condensation, waterproofing walls, and properly venting appliances. If you do all of this and still have high humidity, a dehumidifier is likely needed.

6. Care for Your Houseplants

Your houseplants provide you with extra oxygen, but they can also grow mold if you don’t care for them properly. Damp soil is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Make sure you aren’t overwatering your plants. If they don’t absorb the water, mold will take advantage of that. Also, make sure your plants get the right amount of sun.

If they aren’t supposed to get too much sun, keep the water in the soil and off of the plants so the leaves and stems stay dry. Mold won’t just grow in the soil; it can also grow on the plants themselves.

There are also natural antifungals available that can be added to the soil, including baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon. These can be found in most kitchens and will protect your plants without harming them.

7. Invest in Mold-Resistant Drywall

If you’ve had problems with mold on your walls multiple times, it could be time to take drastic measures. Normal drywall is made with paper, which is prone to growing mold.

There are waterproof drywall options that are made from fiberglass instead. This adjustment makes your walls much safer from mold and water damage. This is a big project that is best for major problem areas, like your bathroom, kitchen, or basement.

This option will also require assistance from a professional. If you’ve taken every step and are considering doing this, it will be a huge undertaking. You might also need to dig around your house and waterproof the outside of your home as well.

What steps have you taken to protect your home from mold? Have you needed to take drastic measures? Let us know in the comments below!

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey

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