Mold can be one of the scariest things to have to deal with in your home. While it can be relatively harmless, mold can cause major infections, severe reactions, and other major health problems if there is exposure to it.
If you’re buying a new home, home inspectors should be looking for signs of mold. If they find any, they will strongly suggest that it be remedied before the purchase goes through.
If you already own a home, you can look for the most common signs of mold. There are times, though, when you won’t be able to actually see the mold in an easy way. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can test for mold.
Even if you don’t have mold in your home right now, it’s very important that you prevent it from growing in the first place. Here are some of the best ways you can prevent mold in your home.
Immediately Dry Any Wet Areas
Mold needs moisture to grow. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to prevent mold is to address any wet areas immediately.
If you have a leaky pipe, have experienced a recent flood, or any kind of major spill, make sure to clean it up right away. If you leave it untreated, it could easily result in mold growth.
You should also concern yourself with smaller spills, too. Even a little bit of moisture on carpets, bedding, and furniture is enough for mold to grow. Make sure that you dry wet surfaces a day or two — at most — after a spill to prevent mold growth.
Address Problem Areas
It’s impossible to completely proof your home from mold growth. However, you certainly can make your home much more resistant to mold growth.
The first step in doing so is taking an inventory of potential problem areas in your home. Some of the most likely culprits are basements, especially if they flood.
If your basement or crawl space is susceptible to flooding, take measures that will improve the situation. Rip up carpets that could be prone to soaking up any water or moisture.
Water-proof your basement. Install new gutters or repair them if they’re damaged. Make sure your downspouts are large enough, and that water is being directed far enough away from your home’s foundation when it rains. You also want to make sure that you clean your gutters regularly so that they don’t clog and can direct water away from your home properly.
Other potential problem areas are leaky windows, roofs, attics, and attached garages.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Moisture doesn’t always come from outside. There are plenty of things inside your home that produce moisture that can result in mold growth if they’re not properly ventilated.
Every time someone takes a shower in your home, they’ll be creating significant moisture. Some appliances also create moisture, including dishwashers, stoves, clothes washers, and dryers.
To counteract this moisture, make sure that all the appliances are properly vented. Then, make sure to maintain the venting system by cleaning them out regularly to prevent blockages or backups.
Check to make sure you have proper vent fans installed in bathrooms, especially those that have showers and/or bathtubs.
If you need to rid your home of extra moisture, use air conditioning units and even dehumidifiers. Again, though, make sure that you are maintaining these things on a regular basis so that they don’t produce extra moistures themselves.
Use Products That Resist Mold
A great way to prevent mold in your home is to use products that are mold resistant. Whenever you undertake a home renovation project, opt for products that have mold resistance in them. This can be for small and large renovation projects, too.
Everything from drywall and sheetrock to paint can have mold-resistant properties in them. You may pay slightly more for this version of these products, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Keep an Eye on the Indoor Humidity
People often focus on the temperature of their home to keep things on an even level and to make sure the indoors are comfortable for all who are there. However, you shouldn’t overlook the humidity level inside your home if you want to prevent mold from growing.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that the humidity level indoors should be between 30% and 60%. Luckily, you can easily measure your home’s indoor humidity by purchasing an inexpensive moisture meter that can be purchased at a hardware store or online.
This easy-to-use meter will tell you what the humidity level of your home is. You can walk around your home into different rooms and see the level of humidity and how it changes. If the humidity level is higher than the EPA’s recommended levels, you’ll know that you need to address the issue.
You can also look for simple signs of too much humidity. This could include condensation that forms on your walls, pipes, and windows. If you see this, first dry the surface right away, and then address why the moisture is forming in the first place.
Take These Steps and More to Prevent Mold
Even if your home doesn’t have mold in it, it’s important that you take proper steps to make sure it doesn’t grow. Mold can be extremely dangerous to human health, so it’s essential that you do all you can to prevent it from growing.
Luckily, there are a lot of simple steps you can take to prevent mold in your home. Most of these will not only prevent mold from growing but will keep the rest of your home running smoothly as well.
If you do have a mold problem, you may need the help of your homeowners’ insurance company.
At Signature Insurance, we have been providing Michigan homeowners with great insurance coverage and outstanding customer service for years. Our agents are experienced in helping homeowners address all potential problems they could face, including harmful mold.
Give us a call today to find out why we’re different, and to get your free quote.
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