Every homeowner is aware of the threat posed by mold as it can appear in your home at virtually anytime and it only causes problems such as property damage and certain health issues including allergies and respiratory infection from exposure. Because mold is a part of the natural environment, keeping it out of your home can be challenging. Mold can only grow in certain conditions that include excess moisture or humidity above 60 percent, an organic food source such as wood or drywall, and temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Knowing these conditions can help you prevent mold growth but there are little things many of us do throughout the house that actually help create conditions that are conducive to mold growth.
These 12 common actions can contribute to mold growth in your home:
Not Ventilating the Bathroom
The bathroom is a common spot for mold because of the high level of moisture. Every time you take a hot shower, the steam causes condensation to form throughout the room which increases the risk of mold growth. You must use an exhaust fan to ventilate the bathroom or if your bathroom does not have a fan, leave the door open to help air it out when you are finished. Failure to properly ventilate your bathroom can lead to mold on the walls or in your shower.
Not Ventilating the Kitchen
Much like the bathroom, the kitchen is also a high moisture environment which means that it is quite susceptible to mold growth. Cooking can increase the moisture in the air of your kitchen, requiring ventilation to remove it. Make sure you properly ventilate your kitchen after cooking by using an exhaust fan or opening a window to help prevent mold.
Neglecting Window Condensation
Condensation forms on your windows when the humidity level in your home is high. The condensation itself is not so much a problem but it is a sign that the moisture level of your home is elevated which increases the risk of mold growth.
Turning the Heat Off
During the winter, it is best to leave your heat running, even if you will be away from your home for a couple days. The heat keeps the air dry and turning it off even for a couple of days will allow condensation to build up within your walls.
Not Checking your Home for Mold
Because mold is so common, it is wise to routinely check for mold growth in high risk areas such as around plumbing fixtures and in basements. Mold will keep spreading the longer it is left undisturbed so checking routinely for mold growth will help you catch and remove contaminations before they spread any further.
Ignoring Plumbing Problems
Minor plumbing issues such as a leaking faucet are very easy to ignore but even a small leak can be a cause of mold growth. If you notice any issues with the plumbing fixtures in your home, call a professional to have them resolved immediately.
Not Cleaning the Bathroom
Moisture is not the only condition that allows mold to grow, the spores also feed off of organic materials including dirt. Your bathroom is already more at risk for mold growth due to the moisture level and failing to keep your bathroom clean will only add to this risk as you allow dirt and grime to build up. No one likes cleaning the bathroom, but it is an important chore to prevent mold growth.
Improper Mold Removal
Generally, mold removal should not be attempted by homeowners because it is a tricky job that requires the right equipment and training, and cleaning up mold improperly can actually make matters worse by causing the mold to disperse its spores. You should call a mold remediation professional at the first signs of mold to handle the problem.
Covering Mold with Paint
Mold must be completely removed to stop being a problem and painting over mold growth will only cover it temporarily as it will keep growing and eventually break through the paint. It is true that mold growth is unsightly, but it must be removed, not simply covered up.
Not Cleaning your Gutters
Cleaning the gutters is an important chore that should be done several times throughout the spring, summer, and fall. If you do not clean out your gutters, the leaves and other organic debris along with the moisture from the rain can cause mold to grow within the gutters and on your roof.
Not Insulating Water Pipes
Some homeowners insulate their pipes before the winter to prevent them from freezing but keeping them insulated year round will prevent condensation on the pipes which could contribute to mold growth.
Not Routinely Checking for Leaks
A small roof leak can easily go undetected and if it is found quickly enough, it will let in enough water to cause structural damage as well as mold growth. You should routinely check for leaks in your home, especially in the attic to make sure you do not have a leak in the roof.
Preventing mold growth requires a little effort but it is well worth the effort to avoid the potential property damage and health effects it causes. By keeping the humidity level of your home under control and keeping other forms of moisture such as leaks and condensation in check, you can significantly reduce the risk of mold in your home. If you do find signs of mold growth, do not hesitate to call a mold remediation company. Experienced mold removal professionals will keep the mold contained as they work and take measures to prevent the mold from growing back.