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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Seven Ways To Prevent Mold

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

It's impossible to create a mold-proof home because mold is all around us. Most of the time, we live peacefully with mold spores all around us. But, if the spores find a damp environment with organic matter to feed on, they can quickly grow into a mold colony. Then, it's only a matter of time before the mold begins to spread. Once that happens, it can be challenging to eradicate.

Mold serves an essential purpose in the environment. It helps break down organic material like leaves and dead plants. They also help create useful things like cheese and penicillin. At the same time, mold can cause serious health issues for people.

You cannot mold-proof your home, and SERVPRO would rather help you prevent mold from invading than wait until there is a mold problem to intervene. There are some easy steps you can take to make your home mold-resistant to avoid the hassle and cost of mold remediation. Here are ten easy ways to create a mold-resistant home.

Seven Ways To Prevent Mold

Prevent Mold and Mildew in the Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most vulnerable rooms in your home because of all the moisture and humidity. Make sure you have a functioning exhaust fan to remove moisture more quickly and circulate the air.

Mildew and mold can grow easily on fabrics. Spread out damp towels after you use them to help them dry more quickly. Wipe down or squeegee the shower after each use. Also, choose shower curtains that dry quickly and clean easily so that soap residue doesn't build up. Soap scum can foster mold growth.

Ventilate Well

Ventilation is vital for your home. New homes are more energy-efficient, preventing air leakage, which saves money but can allow moisture to build up inside your home. Routine activities like cooking dinner, showering, and doing laundry can encourage mold to grow in your house.

Make sure your kitchen, laundry room, and other high-moisture areas are well ventilated. Add vents to the outside (not the attic) to appliances like clothes dryers and stoves. Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to control the moisture levels in your house, especially in humid climates.

Open doors between rooms and move furniture away from the walls to increase circulation around your home. Open your windows on beautiful days with low humidity to let in the fresh air.

Keep Mold Off Your Houseplants

Plants are beautiful and improve the air quality in your home, but the moist soil around the houseplants are the perfect breeding ground for mold colonies. Don't get rid of your beautiful plants! Add a little Taheebo tea to the water when you water them. Taheebo tree oil is resistant to fungi, even in the humid, damp rainforests, and it helps prevent mold from growing in the plant soil. Taheebo tea is readily available in most natural food stores.

Monitor Moisture Levels

It is easy to monitor moisture levels in your home with a hygrometer. The EPA recommends keeping the humidity levels in your home between 30 and 60 percent.

You can also look for telltale signs that there is too much moisture in your home. Condensation on your windows, pipes, and walls is one of the most obvious symptoms of high moisture levels. Dry the surfaces immediately and turn off any humidifiers. Consider putting a dehumidifier in moisture-prone rooms.

Use a Properly Sized Air Conditioner

Make sure your air conditioning unit is the right size for the home and the climate. A central air conditioning unit might cool your home faster, but it won't remove the right amount of moisture from the air. If you live in a climate with high humidity, consider adding a dehumidifier to the central air conditioning system.

You can also raise the temperature in your home so the moisture doesn't build up and cause condensation.

It is also essential to have your air conditioner cleaned and ducts and regularly maintained, including the unit drip pans and drainage lines. Water collects in these dark areas, creating a perfect environment for mold to thrive.

Ventilate Crawl Spaces

Crawl spaces and basements are cool, damp, and dark--the ideal environment for mold colonies to grow. Make sure crawl spaces have the right amount of ventilation and lay down heavy-duty plastic sheeting over dirt to keep moisture from seeping up from the ground.

Clean and Maintain Your Gutters and Roof

One of the easiest ways to prevent rainwater from seeping into your home is to keep your gutters and roof cleaned and maintained. Make sure the gutters and downspouts aren't blocked with leaves and debris. The downspouts should move rainwater at least five feet away from the foundation of your house. This will help keep your basement and crawl spaces dry.

Cleaning Mold

It is important to clean mold properly and as quickly as possible to prevent it from spreading to other areas of your home.

How To Clean Mold and Mildew From Fabrics

It is essential to carefully take the fabric or upholstery outside if possible to prevent mold spores from spreading throughout your home. Once outside, brush as much of the mildew off as possible with a rag or gentle brush. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect your skin and lungs.

Wash the fabric in chlorine bleach and hot water to kill the mildew. If that is not possible, soak the cloth in oxygen bleach and hot water for about 30 minutes, then wash as directed. It is also helpful to allow the fabric to dry in the sunlight.

Vacuum any upholstery that you cannot take outside, then immediately replace the vacuum bag or take the canister outside and clean it thoroughly to remove the mold spores. Mix 1 part ammonia and 1 part cold water and use a clean, white cloth to sponge the mold stains. Blot the stain until all of the solution is absorbed. Repeat the process until the stain is gone, then clean the area with cold water to remove the ammonia. Make sure the upholstery dries completely with a fan, hairdryer (set on cool), or dehumidifier.

How To Clean Mold From Wood

Cleaning small amounts of mold or mildew from wood surfaces is not as difficult as you might think. However, it is important to clean the area thoroughly to prevent it from spreading elsewhere around your home.

Create a solution of equal parts vinegar, soap, and warm water. Use a clean, soft rag to wipe away the mold or mildew. Make sure to scrub between cracks or joints as much as possible. Rinse the area with clean water and dry the wood thoroughly. Use a fan or dehumidifier to make sure there is enough ventilation in the area.

Contact SERVPRO

It is important to clean mold with the right methods and equipment to prevent the spores from spreading to other areas of your home. It's easy to clean small amounts of mold growing on hard surfaces with commercial mold and mildew removers. It is crucial to address the cause of the mold.

Because mold spores travel by air, SERVPRO technicians use technology like negative air chambers and HEPA air filters with "air scrubbers" to prevent the mold spores from spreading while they clean and disinfect the area. SERVPRO uses the following process to remediate mold:

  • Inspection and assessment: SERVPRO agents inspect your home for mold using a variety of technologies to detect unhealthy mold levels and hidden areas of moisture.
  • Containment: Depending on the extent of the mold contamination, SERVPRO agents will use things like negative air chambers to keep mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. They usually turn off the heat and AC to keep mold spores from spreading through the air ducts.
  • Filtration: SERVPRO uses specialized air filtration equipment to clean spores out of the air. HEPA vacuums and "air scrubbers" help bring the mold spores down to normal levels.
  • Removing mold and damaged materials: Technicians remove all the mold-infested things like drywall, carpeting, insulation, and other materials from your home. Then, they use antimicrobial and antifungal treatments to kill any remaining mold and prevent new mold colonies from growing.
  • Cleaning your belongings: SERVPRO is committed to restoring as much as possible to its original condition, including your belongings like furniture, clothing, curtains, and decorative items. They use a variety of chemicals and cleaning techniques to sanitize everything and remove the moldy smell.
  • Restoration: The job isn't complete until the SERVPRO technicians make all the necessary repairs to return your home to its original condition.

If you find mold in your home, contact SERVPRO immediately. Technicians are available 24/7, and they are trained to handle all kinds of mold issues.

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