How to Prevent Mold in the Home
Mold, mildew, and moisture can cause serious problems in the home. These nuisances are especially present in states with hot, humid summers like those we experience here in Austin, Texas. If your HVAC system is not regularly inspected and cleaned, mold can grow undetected for months or even years!
Our easy-to-follow guide will help you be able to prevent, identify, and ultimately remedy any mold that may infiltrate your home. Let’s get started.
What is Mold and What Does it Look Like?
Mold is a fungus that is commonly found within household dust. In large enough quantities, it can pose a dangerous health hazard. Health issues that may arise from mold include asthma and allergy attacks, respiratory problems, and in some cases, neurological problems and even death. Mold can be distinguished from other moisture bacteria, such as mildew, but its appearance. Mold can come in a variety of colors. These colors range in shade from black, blue, green, and red. Mold can also be identified by the slimy, or fuzzy, texture.
Ideal Conditions for Mold Growth
As we alluded to in the open, mold thrives in high heat temperatures and humidity. High heat can be defined as anything between 77 and 87 degrees, while high humidity is considered between 62 and 93 percent. In combination with these two factors, because mold is a fungus, it needs organic material to “feed” on. Organic material is abundant in household dust. These factors are why June, July, and August are the months that create the ideal environment for mold to grow. Warm temperatures and high humidity are a venerable breeding ground for mold. The good news is there are numerous methods on which you can fight, eliminate, and prevent mold.
Common Sources of Mold Growth
Underneath Sinks, Tubs, Faucets
Dishwashers, Washing Machines, and Refrigerators
Any Area in the Home with Elevated Moisture Levels
How to Prevent Mold in the Home
Keep Healthy Humidity Levels
Mold, and other bacteria such as mildew, thrive in a humid environment. Thus it is important to keep your humidity levels in check. Areas in the home that are prone to high amounts of moisture need to be kept ventilated. When using the bathroom, kitchen, or working in the basement, turn on fans to circulate the air and prevent moisture from condensing. One of the best methods for keeping your home free of mold during the summer months is to run your Air Conditioner. Many HVAC units have a humidification system that regulates humidity. Regardless if yours does or not, simply running the air conditioner during the hot months of the year will circulate the air.
Playing off the “air circulation” method that Air Conditioning provides, you can always open windows to help increase the ventilation AND improve air circulation through the home. Fresh air helps dry out damp, musty areas, and reduce odors in the home.
Dry Wet Areas
Get into the habit of cleaning and drying surfaces in areas of the home that are moisture prone. This includes bath tubs, showers, sinks, dishwashers and more. Remember, mold can’t grow let alone thrive without moisture, so it is important to dry wet areas immediately. Other “wet areas” that are not as obvious of those just mentioned include leaky pipes, a damp basement, a spill on the carpet, or leaving wet clothing/towels out for too long. Trust us, it is very difficult to completely cleanse areas that have been compromised by mold.
Keep Indoor Plants
Introducing and maintaining indoor plants to your home is a great way to improve the overall air quality. Live plants help remove potentially harmful VOCs and help recycle the home’s air supply. As an added bonus, this air quality improvement method is eco-friendly!
Install Ultraviolet Lights in HVAC Ducts
Ultraviolet light is a proven method for preventing, and even eliminating, mold in HVAC ducts. Homes in high humidity areas definitely benefit from ultraviolet light installation in HVAC ducts. Lamps are placed in locations of the ducts where mold and mildew is problem and can help significantly reduce contamination levels.
Mold Remediation Experts: Austin Chimney Sweeps & Duct Cleaning
If you believe your home has become infected with mold, or is at risk of becoming infected with mold, Austin Chimney Sweeps & Duct Cleaning has you covered. We offer mold remediation services in Austin and the surrounding areas, and also are authorized to install UV Lights in HVAC ducts to prevent mold from returning. Contact us today to learn more