Further to my post on Understanding Mold, mold sampling and Air Quality testing, here are a few tips on how to prevent mold growth within your home.
Remembering that molds can grow almost everywhere and on any substance providing moisture, food and correct temperature range is present. Of the three inputs (moisture, food and temperature), the easiest to remove is moisture, thus the best method of prevention is to reduce the amount of moisture.
By keeping the relative humidity between 30% and 50% (inside the home) you are choking off the water supply and preventing the mold from thriving. To accomplish this goal, prevention measures include:
- Vent showers and other moisture generating sources directly to the outside. It was common practice in the 1980’s and some into the 1990’s for the construction trades to vent exhaust fans into the attic without penetrating the roof or simply running the exhaust pipe to the soffit but not actually out of the attic. These practices led to numerous complaints of wet insulation and mold growth in attics.
- Control humidity with air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers (It is important to remember that when using air conditioners and dehumidifiers to keep them in good condition. Empty any water collectors regularly so this water does not contribute to the moisture problem! If you use humidifiers, ensure that they are cleaned regularly).
- Use exhaust fans when cooking, dishwashing, or laundering (especially in the food service or laundry areas) or when cleaning large areas.
- Insulate cold surfaces to prevent condensation on piping, windows, exterior walls, roofs and floors where possible.
- Keep the building and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in good repair.
- Clean up any floods or spills immediately (within 24-48 hours).
- For floors and carpets, remove spots or stains immediately. Reduce the amount of water used when cleaning carpets as much as possible.
- Do not install carpet around fountains, sinks, bathtubs/showers or directly on top of concrete floors that are prone to leaks or frequent condensation.
- Do not stack firewood inside the house. A chord of wood can release up to 10 gallons of moisture into the living space.
- Open windows1/2”-1” in bedrooms to allow air exchanges while sleeping.
- Regular cleaning and dusting to prevent organic material (food for mold) from accumulating.
- Regular maintenance inspection to ensure flashings, through wall penetrations, roof and attic condition are all in optimum condition to prevent moisture ingress.
Stonegate Home Inspections Ltd. offers services to help you understand the extent of any mold problem from localised damage (stained caulking in bathrooms) to major damage (mold growth from indoor Marijuana Growing activities). Please feel free to contact us and request a free quote if you have any concerns relating to potential mold problems.
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