“Is this covered by Insurance?” is a question often posed to Eradicator inspectors by clients…
Mold hides in plain sight and grows mysteriously into a dangerous fungus when mold spores attach to objects susceptible to mold growth. Once it starts growing, removing it may become a time intensive and costly process. This may become a disruptive process that can affect your home life and productivity at work due to its intrusive nature. Therefore, it is wise to be proactive about mold and to not let it grow to abnormal levels. If it does grow, you must keep it in check so that the mold removal process is minimally invasive to your life and business. Below are some tips to preventing and controlling mold growth in your home or office.
As stated, mold growth is encouraged by moisture, and moisture can arise from excess humidity. To prevent this, monitor humidity levels, keep the relative humidity below 50%, and run a dehumidifier when necessary.
Pick up a hygrometer at a local hardware store. This device measures humidity and can be important in indicating when to adjust the thermostat to keep humidity levels at 50%.
Open windows and rooftop vents to encourage airflow in the structure. Depending on your climate region proper airflow keeps mold spores from settling and may keep humidity at bay.
Utilize bathroom and kitchen fans to encourage air circulation. Air circulation assists in maintaining humidity levels at normal levels.
Monitor the area around and within your HVAC vent covers and ducts for evidence of abnormal mold activity or excessive dust and dirt.
Ventilate dryer exhaust outside in order to keep the exhaust from building moisture inside the home or business. Trapped exhaust is a playground for mold and encourages its rapid growth.
Keep a gap between furniture and walls so that air can flow through. When furniture is flushed against porous material such as drywall, it can lead to mold growth.
Avoid moisture build up on your windows by cleaning and drying them often. Utilize caulk to properly seal and prevent air and/or water from invading your property. Moisture can quickly build on the corners and along the paint of the window if left unchecked. For these scenarios a caulk that is mold and mildew resistant is preferable.
Check plumbing fixtures for moisture often, including looking for leaks where water builds up and can encourage mold fungus growth.
In areas that experience freezing temperatures taking precautions to prevent pipes from freezing is essential
Increasing the heat by turning up thermostat.
Allowing water to lightly drip/ trickle from faucets.
Opening cabinets under sinks and wherever there are water pipes.
Comfortable temperatures in all living quarters, including the basement, bathroom, and attic are crucial to maintaining appropriate humidity levels as well as ensuring that heat and condensation from normal activities and occurrences do not pool on surfaces.
Properly insulate basement walls, piping, and ductwork within home, especially the exterior walls of older homes. As temperatures drop, the potential for localized condensation increases, which becomes a hotspot for mold fungus growth.
Coat basement and exterior walls with a water-resistant mold sealant. Even though your property is not waterproof this method prevents an additional layer of protection against water seeping into the foundation of the home and/or business.
Have your roof inspected for leaks as well as missing or damaged tiles and shingles. This can prevent water from leaking into the attic, which would prevent mold within these areas.
Keep sprinklers away from your home. When water comes in contact with the exterior of the home, moisture builds up and this can be a facilitator for mold growth.
Keep gutters, down spouts and drainage pipes clean and clear of debris. Apply gutter guards and strainers to prevent debris clogging in these areas and preventing water from efficiently being removed from property. Apply downspout extensions and splash blocks to provide quick and easy methods of water drainage solutions.
Apply proper landscaping methods that will prevent water from saturating around the exterior of the property and seeping into the foundation.