With every issue, the best strategy is prevention. This is also the case with mold in your home. It is more difficult to treat and fully eradicate mold once it starts to grow. And it can grow anywhere. The process can be energy- and time-consuming. Not to mention that the costs that can sometimes be vast, especially if it comes to the full renovation of the infrastructure of your home.
1. Identify and treat problem areas
Problem areas in your home are places where there isn't much ventilation, where the airflow isn't optimal, or areas with a recent leak. Check for condensation on or around your windows. See if there are bubbles under painted walls or water leaks on the ceiling or near the AC unit. For these, you may need to call in a professional for waterproofing your ceiling. If there was a recent flood in your basement, rip away the carpet and use a dehumidifier. Make sure to clean and check your AC units and dehumidifiers periodically.
2. The key for prevention is moisture control
Mold can't grow without moisture. What that means is that you should dry any humid areas within and up to 48 hours. The most humid areas in a home are usually the bathrooms, the laundry room, and the kitchen. Make sure to mop the floor after a shower and dry the walls by simply opening a window. Do not leave wet clothes in the washing machine, as this enclosed space is especially prone to mold growth. Once the cycle is done, remove the laundry immediately and hang it to dry or use the dryer. Vent the dryer outside, not into the attic. If furniture or textiles are wet for any reason in the basement, the best solution is to leave them outside to dry.
3. Monitor the humidity in your home
As you can see in the picture, humidity monitors can tremendously help you with that task. You can purchase them at your local hardware store. According to EPA recommendations, the humidity in your home should be anywhere between 30% and 60%. If you can't or don't want to use an electric monitor, you can look for signs in your home. If it is too moist, there will be condensation on windows, pipes, and walls.
4. Clean the gutters twice a year
If you find that there is mold in the corners of the walls near the ceiling, or even in the center of the ceiling, you'll be surprised to know that a possible reason for that could be hidden in the gutters! If they're full or damaged, this may cause leaking in your roof because rainwater is not drained away properly. As mentioned above, keep an eye open for water stains on your ceiling, especially after a storm. For tips on how to clean the gutters properly, watch the video below:
5. Keep mold away from your house plants
Mold growing on the soil of your houseplants is almost paradoxical. They are supposed to clean the air in our homes, not contaminate it, right? Still, this can occur due to a number of reasons: poor air circulation, overwatering, poor drainage, contaminated soil, or even decomposing leaves that are left on the surface. Some species of mold are harmless to your plants, but that doesn't mean they're welcome. Scoop away the mold and wash your hands thoroughly. After that, you have a few different natural, home-safe options:
- Sprinkle some cinnamon on the soil.
- Spray a homemade mold repellant made of water and baking soda (test on a small area to see if it's not too harsh on your plant).
- Spray a neem oil and water solution on your plants. It is a powerful natural mold killer.