How to Stop Mold Growth
Football season is just around the corner, and with it are sure to be Thursday nights, Sunday afternoons, and Monday nights with the neighbors over, everyone huddled around the living room TV, cheering on your favorite team. But as you're making your list of "to-do's" to prep for game time, consider adding "stop mold growth" to the list, just above "buffalo wings" - because while many homeowners are aware of the dangers of mold, not as many know how to stop mold growth before it starts; and as any good coach will tell you: a good offense is the best defense.
What does mold need to grow?
- A food source such as cotton, leather, wood, drywall, paper products, etc.
- Optimum temperatures, which is anywhere between 32- and 120-degrees Fahrenheit.
How to stop mold growth
While there's not much you can do about the food source and temperatures suitable for mold growth, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says there is something you can do about the moisture it needs. To stop mold growth, moisture control is key. The EPA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offer the following tips on how to control moisture in your home:
- Fix leaks and seepage. This could be anything from simplelandscaping, to plumbing fixtures, to appliance hoses, to extensive excavation and waterproofing.
- Make sure your crawlspace/ basement is water-proofed but well-ventilated.
- Use exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchens to remove moisture to the outside instead of into the attic.
- Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners. This is especially important in hot, humid climates to reduce moisture in the air.
- If you don't already have gutters and downspouts, seriously consider installing them. If you do have gutters, CLEAN THEM OUT! The Absence of gutters, or having clogged gutters can lead to water intrusion via cracks around windows/doors or via cracks in the foundation.
- Open doors between rooms to increase circulation, including closet doors. Circulation carries heat to cold surfaces, so increase air circulation by using fans.
- Pay special attention to carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture, so try to use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often.
More info? For information on how to stop mold growth, check out our post: Preventing Attic Mold with Proper Attic Ventilation.