Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home
Disaster preparedness is a big part of home ownership, so we do our part to prevent damage from storms, fires and floods. But mold is the homeowner’s nightmare you might never see coming. It slowly, subtly, and sneakily spreads anywhere in your home where there’s moisture or humidity. And once it starts growing, it can destroy anything and everything in its path — from carpets to wallpaper to bathware to wood, and much, much more.
So what can you do to make sure mold doesn’t take ahold of your home? Read on to find out.
In the bathroom…
With plenty of wet, slippery surfaces, the bathroom is easily the room at the highest risk of mold. But how do you prevent a mold problem in the dampest room in the house? Start by looking for signs of trouble. While some mildew may be normal in places that regularly accumulate water, such the corner of your shower — mold growth on walls, floors or countertops is a clear sign of trouble. The first thing you should do to prevent this from occurring or worsening is finding and fixing any plumbing leaks , such as dripping faucets or trickling pipes that add unnecessary moisture to the air. Remove and launder wet towels after right after you use them, and wash or replace your shower curtain frequently.
You should also be proactive about pinpointing the trouble spots you can’t see. Seal your grout and caulk lines with a waterproof sealer every year to prevent mold from growing underneath them. And use moisture- and microbe-resistant materials in your bathroom decor, including the rugs, paint and flooring.
Lastly, invite as much ventilation into your bathroom as possible. Leave the door open to let moisture out after showering (or while you're showering, if that's an option). And consider making an investment in an exhaust fan, if you don’t already have one. If your bathroom fan isn’t effectively ventilating, a larger one should probably be installed.
And last but not least, don’t forget to clean regularly! It’s always best to nip mold and mildew in the bud before they gain a foothold. But the bathroom isn’t the only room at risk. So what about the rest of the house?
In the kitchen…
Much like the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the wettest rooms in the house. One of the easiest ways to prevent mold growth in the kitchen is to stop old food from piling up. That means getting rid of the forgotten leftovers in the back of your fridge as well as cleaning the dirty dishes mounting in your sink. You should also show special attention to your microwave and stove, which see more than their fair share of spills and splatters that invite mold growth. And most importantly, keep your kitchen dry! Run water on low whenever you washing or rinsing, and avoid splashing water around. If water does spill, make sure you wipe it up immediately before your countertops are able to absorb any of it.
In the bedroom…
While the bedroom seems like an unlikely place for mold to grow, it also presents a number of risks for mold growth, specifically on your mattress. And again, the key to prevention is keeping your mattress clean and dry, despite constant contact with sweat, skin and germs. How? Start by vacuuming the mattress thoroughly with its hose every couple months (and don’t forget to vacuum the bottom side as well). If your bedroom has a ceiling fan, then use it regularly to control humidity. Change your sheets regularly, and invest in a mold-resistant or waterproof mattress cover. If you’re in the market for a new bed, consider a slatted bed frame that allows air to escape — and skip the box spring if possible.
In your indoor air…
Did you know that mold spores that are invisible to the eye can circulate throughout your indoor air? Scheduling regular HVAC tune-ups and duct cleanings are the first step to prevent spores from spreading. But there are other steps you can take to maintain excellent indoor air quality. ARS®/Rescue Rooter® offers a range of services and products that can help reduce the amount of toxins in your air. Whether it’s a UV light air cleaner or a whole-house dehumidifier, we’ll find the right solution for your personal needs, home design and local climate.