Looking for a better way to prevent mold from growing indoors?
Though mold plays an important part in many natural processes, it’s better found outdoors than growing in bathrooms, closets or along your walls. Exposure to mold can cause health problems, including fever-like and allergic reactions. And if left untreated, it can cause structural damage to building materials.
Mold thrives in wet, humid environments so the key to mold prevention is moisture control. From monitoring humidity levels to replacing leaks quickly, there are several ways you can help mitigate the potential for mold to grow in your home, office or building. Here are 10 tips for helping prevent mold indoors.
1. Wipe Up Spills
Don’t let any spills or leaks sit. It only takes mold a short time to grow, so it’s important to dry any water-damaged areas as quickly as possible.
2. Dry Items Thoroughly
Make sure materials and items are dry before storing them in basements, closets, cabinets and other enclosed spaces.
3. Repair Leaks
Be sure to fix any busted or leaking pipes quickly, and replace any water-damaged materials surrounding the leak, such as drywall. Routinely check for leaks on your roof, walls and foundation.
4. Clean Gutters
Keep your gutters clean with routine maintenance to keep them from getting clogged, which can damage the roof. During the cleaning, inspect them for any damage that may need to be repaired.
5. Measure Moisture Indoors
Keep an eye on the humidity levels in your home, office or job site. You can use a moisture meter, a portable, handheld device to measure humidity levels in real time. Moisture meters come in a wide range of options and include several add-on accessories. The EPA recommends keeping indoor relative humidity levels below 60 percent, with between 30 and 50 percent being ideal.
6. Watch for Condensation
Look out for any areas with condensation, such as near humidifiers or on windows, which is a sign of high humidity. Dry the area quickly, increase airflow and try to reduce the humidity in the location. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can be used to help speed up the process.
7. Improve Air Flow
Open windows, crack closet doors, turn on fans and move furniture away from the walls to keep air flowing indoors. Good ventilation, especially in smaller or confined spaces, helps reduce overall humidity.
8. Vent Appliances
Be sure to properly vent appliances that create moisture, such as clothing dryers, stoves and other combustion appliances that produce water vapor.
9. Direct Water Away from the Foundation
It’s important that the surrounding ground slopes away from a building. This ensures that water doesn’t pool at the foundation, which can cause leaks and damage to the structure.
10. Use Mold-Resistant Materials
Look for mold-resistant construction materials when building or restoring a building. If this is an option, using these materials helps keep mold at bay by creating a less desirable environment for it. For example, mold-resistant drywall is made using fiberglass to make it highly water resistant. Traditional drywall is made using paper. There are also a variety of options, including mold-resistant paint, drywall and sheetrock.
Mold prevention can be tricky, especially depending on the climate you’re in, but these tips can help keep your environment dry. Whether you are looking for ways to keep your home or commercial building free and clear of mold, Atex is here to help. Talk to our team or stock up on commercial-grade supplies and equipment to help keep mold at bay.