When people think of mold – many negative thoughts come to mind. They might think of rusty pipes, old and leaking roofs, aging walls and bad health reactions such as allergies and asthma attacks. And the fact is, they are mostly right. Mold is also part of nature. Mold spores thrive where it is wet and damp.
Bathrooms, kitchens and pipes all have the potential for moisture and mold spores will float around and literally ground themselves on your wall, ceiling, pipes, AC ducts and more. They can then easily grow and affect both your property value and your health if not remediated. Mold exposure can cause serious health problem, especially for seniors, small children and immunocompromised individuals. Here are some mold prevention tips as provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
- Look around your place of residence. Pay attention to where moisture might seep in like windows, bathrooms, ceilings, and more. Make sure all these areas are well-ventilated and dry. The EPA says you have about 24 to 48 hours before mold starts to grow on wet spots or areas.
- You should keep indoor humidity low. “If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.”
- Good ventilation is your friend (and the enemy of mold spores). The EPA says, “Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.” (In other words, open a window from time to time…even if it is cold outside – air out your house).
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Look at your air conditioning ducts and pans as well as drain lines. Make sure the drip pans “…are clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.” If you are not sure how that all works, call in an A/C and Heating specialist to help.
- If you live in cold areas, cover your pipes with insulation.
- Renters or owners, make sure you have your landlord or a professional check your pipes and ducts and areas where you can’t really see mold but it could easily proliferate. Get to the problem before it gets too bad…
You may also want to consider upgrading your existing HVAC system with advanced filtration and air purification technology. Some products can trap mold spores and dehumidifiers reduce excess moisture throughout your house to keep the mold population under control. The latest indoor air technology can actually neutralize mold spores through a unique catalytic process originally developed by NASA.