Our Top Three Ways To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home
11/01/2018 | Air Care Wizard
Can we all agree that pizza is excellent? A few slices provide some serious enjoyment, but how about 30 slices? Like most things in life, good things can quickly turn bad when we get too much. The same could be said for mold. Mold is pretty useful at keeping our ecosystem in balance in the right concentrations, but when we introduce it into a home where it can become over-concentrated, it becomes a bad thing. The wonderful mold that created your favorite cheese just became your worst nightmare. In this post, we?ll go over 3 things that you can do to help prevent mold growth in your home.
1. Get an exhaust fan for your bathroom and use it.
Our office manager crunched the numbers and found that around 60% of the mold calls that we receive have something to do with high humidity. With humidity, we're dealing with an elevated level of moisture in the air. There are two things that molds love and that's moisture and food. Give mold an environment where those are both in plentiful supply and you'll have a mold problem. Unless you're the oddball who takes cold showers (who even does that?), the steam from your hot shower will build up in the bathroom. If this bathroom isn't equipped with an exhaust fan, that excess moisture in the air has nowhere to go. This is a common cause for mold issues in a bathroom, and it's totally preventable. The second part here is crucial. Use the fan. Surprisingly, we speak with many homeowners who have an exhaust fan but don't use it. The best way to limit mold growth is to limit moisture. The fan helps with this. It has other useful smell-related purposes as well that are outside of the scope of this blog.
2. Address leaks and water intrusion immediately
24-48 hours. No, that's not the number of hours our assessor Sean has sunk into his weekend Netflix binge watching episodes of "The Office." 24-48 hours is the amount of time that it takes for mold to start to grow in your home when there has been some sort of leak or water loss. Like a criminal investigation (though probably not as serious), the first 48 hours are crucial. The best thing a homeowner can do is insure that the water-affected area is dried within 72 hours. This limits the potential for mold growth and helps mitigate the additional costs of mold remediation. So next time you suspect a roof leak or notice some sort of plumbing leak, it's best to get it checked out and repaired quickly so that it doesn't turn into a bigger issue.
3. Make sure that your HVAC system is working for you
Thought we were done with humidity? Not just yet. When we think of A/C units, we tend to think of their ability to cool the air in our homes and provide a comfortable environment. Many may not realize that the first function of the A/C unit is to remove humidity from the air. When the A/C unit is working properly in a home, it effectively maintains a safe humidity level in the air. When there is some issue with the A/C unit, the humidity in the home can rise, causing widespread mold issues. There are a surprising number of ways that this can happen. The most common things we see that contribute to this problem are: oversized A/C units, dirty coils, too high of a set-point on the thermostat, turning the unit off entirely for extended periods of time, incorrect airflow, and incorrect calibration of fan speed. This list isn't exhaustive, but these are very common issues we see on a day-to-day basis. If you're finding mold growth in closets, on clothes, or on solid surfaces throughout the home, it's best to get the A/C unit checked out to make sure that the unit is effectively removing humidity from the air. If we had to offer some guidance in this area, we'd say:
- Keep your thermostat at a comfortable setting that allows the unit to run intermittently throughout the day.
- Keep tabs on the humidity in the home. We like to see numbers between 30%-55% relative humidity.
- Ensure that you keep your system running when leaving the home for extended periods of time.
- Have your A/C unit regularly serviced and cleaned.
The big takeaway here is that many mold issues are preventable. We can't predict the random roof leak or the water line in the wall that bursts, but we can mitigate some of the factors that potentiate mold growth. Secondly, if you suspect mold growth in your home and you're not sure what to do; call us. We're here to help. Our licensed assessors are absolute pros at diagnosing and treating mold problems within homes and businesses just like yours. Depending on the circumstances, we may even have solutions available that can clean the air, regulate humidity, and mitigate allergens within your home or business.