Common Places for Moisture
Moisture problems can lead to mold, mildew, or other biological growth, potentially causing a variety of health problems for susceptible individuals. In addition, moisture issues can lead to rot and structural damage. When addressing any interior mold issue, the moisture source must be addressed to provide a long term solution.
The absence of proper attic ventilation allows moisture to become trapped in the attic, potentially causing attic mold growth. As with any interior mold issue, addressing the moisture source is key. AdvantaClean experts can help diagnose your attic moisture and attic mold issues by properly recommending and implementing an attic ventilation system or other corrective measures.
Crawl Space Moisture
Many crawl spaces have an exposed earthen floor, which allows ground moisture to evaporate into the space under your home, increasing the crawl space moisture levels in both the air and sub-structure of your home – especially if you don't have a vapor barrier. Our crawl space moisture specialists can address the moisture source – from simple repairs to comprehensive vapor barriers, crawl space ventilation systems and crawl space dehumidifier installations.
The lack of a basement ventilation system and/or basement dehumidifier can contribute to basement humidity control issues. In addition, improper construction or maintenance, lack of landscaping or improper grading and lack of rain gutters can also contribute to basement moisture control issues. AdvantaClean can diagnose your basement moisture control and basement mold issues by properly identifying, recommending and implementing corrective actions.
Controlling Moisture to Prevent Mold Growth
All public health agencies report that excess moisture is the main cause of mold in homes and businesses, usually due to a lack of airflow and poor ventilation. There are a few easy steps home and business owners can take to control the mold growth indoors. When you have a mold problem, you need professional remediation. However, without proper moisture controls implemented, the mold will only grow back.
Here are some tips for controlling moisture indoors where mold is a problem:
- Maintain humidity levels at 30-50%: Controlling humidity levels will greatly reduce the presence of mold, as well as dust mites and other microbes. Besides weather, humidity can be caused by dishwashers, bathroom steam from showers, and the escaping air from the clothes dryer. Air conditioners and humidifiers are both excellent ways to reduce moisture in the air if proper ventilation is not possible. Be sure to have your air conditioner cleaned each year before use, as a dirty filter can make mold and allergies much worse by exposing your home or business to even more mold spores.
- Reduce the moisture in the house: Don't let water build up anywhere, wipe shower walls and doors after use, and ventilate damp rooms. Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles regularly with mold-killing products and quickly move wet clothes into the dryer before mold can grow. On concrete floors, remove carpet and use area rugs that can be lifted and washed, or install a vapor barrier over the concrete.
- Keep air flowing: Ventilation, when possible, is the best defense against mold. Whether there has been a previous infestation of mold or not, it will continue to grow wherever there is a lack of proper airflow. Increase ventilation by leaving doors between rooms and closets open. Make sure the clothes dryer is vented to the outside, and that there are no leaks in the ventilation hosing. A very important place to monitor ventilation is in the bathroom. Most will have a small window for airflow, but that is not always enough. Frequently use the vent fan, and in the absence of one, use a portable fan to clear out steam after showers and baths. Doing so will greatly reduce the chance of mold on the walls and shower doors and curtains.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mold spores are always present, and there is no way to eliminate all mold indoors. However, the key to keeping the spores from growing into an unsightly problem is to implement moisture control. Mold will grow at a rapid rate on many surfaces, including wood, paper, carpets, and clothing. By reducing moisture in environments with airflow or ventilation problems, the chances of developing mold that will need to be killed and removed is greatly reduced, saving money and a big headache.
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