Mold is a fungus that decomposes organic material like wood, plants, and leaves. Tiny spores are found in the air and on surfaces. Under the right conditions, mold can begin growing in your home and cause serious damage. When you and your loved ones are exposed to mold, you may experience a wide range of health symptoms including sneezing, coughing, and other respiratory problems. While unexpected situations like leaks or flooding can cause mold growth, there are things you can do to prevent mold at home.
Understanding How to Prevent Mold at Home
To prevent mold at home, it’s important to understand what causes mold growth. Because the spores are airborne and can grow on many surfaces, environmental conditions play a big role in where mold grows.
The most critical factor needed for mold growth is moisture. Mold grows in areas that are saturated with moisture and will thrive in high humidity. With this in mind, these are some of the more effective ways to prevent mold at home.
1. Run the AC Regularly
Your air conditioner controls the indoor temperature and lowers the humidity level. By reducing humidity, the AC system creates conditions that are less conducive to mold growth. Some people leave doors and windows open on mild days, but this raises the humidity level indoors if it’s humid outside. Moisture is created indoors from cooking and bathing, so you should run your AC system periodically even when the temperature is comfortable to keep humidity levels low.
2. Use Mold-Resistant Materials
Mold can grow on any organic surface, including wood, particle board, drywall, carpentry, drapes, and more. Many furnishings, decorative items, and even building materials are now mold-resistant. By incorporating more of these materials in your home, you reduce the likelihood of mold growth.
3. Schedule Plumbing Inspections
Excess moisture from your plumbing system, like leaky pipes and overflowing toilets, causes water to spread. Some surfaces absorb moisture and take a long time to dry out. If water damage occurs as a result of a plumbing problem, mold is likely to grow. You can help to avoid some of these issues by scheduling regular plumbing inspections and completing recommended maintenance services, like flushing the water heater.
4. Use Ventilation Fans to Prevent Mold at Home
Some areas of the home are more susceptible to mold growth than others. For example, activities in the laundry room, bathrooms, and kitchen generate moisture and increase humidity levels. Ventilation fans are likely already installed in these areas of your home, but if not, consider installing them. Make sure to turn the fans on regularly when these rooms are in use.
You should take every step possible to prevent mold at home. When mold grows in your home, you’re at risk for health issues, property damage, and even potential difficulty selling your home in the future.