Spring in Northeast Ohio brings with it frequent rainstorms and flooding. Water damage can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. But mold is another nightmare you might never see coming. It slowly and subtly spreads anywhere in your home where there’s humidity or moisture – and it’s not limited to spring’s downpours. Once it starts growing, it’ll destroy everything in its path, from carpets to wallpaper and much more.
What precautions can you take to ensure mold doesn’t wreck your home? It’s easier than you might think.
With its always wet and slippery surfaces, your bathroom is easily the area of your home at the highest risk for mold infiltration. But, how do you stop mold in the dampest room in your house? You start by keeping an eye out for signs of trouble. Some mildew is typical in places that regularly accumulate water, such as the corners of your shower, but mold growth on walls, floors, and countertops is a sign of trouble. Your first step toward preventing mold from forming and spreading is to identify and seal any plumbing leaks. A dripping faucet or a loose pipe joint will release moisture into the air. Put wet towels into the washing machine right after using them, and clean or replace your shower curtain regularly.
Be proactive about locating the trouble spots you can’t see. Seal your bathroom’s grout and caulking with a waterproof sealer once a year to prevent moisture from penetrating them and allowing mold to grow underneath. It’s also smart to use water and microbe-resistant materials in your bathroom decor – your rugs, curtains, paint, and flooring, especially.
Enable as much ventilation in your bathroom as possible. Open the door to let moisture out after showering – or leave it open while you’re showering, if that’s an option. Consider adding an exhaust fan if you don’t already have one. If your bathroom is still stuffy and musty even with a fan, consider upgrading to a higher-capacity model, and ensure that the moist, exhausted air is properly routed outside.
Last but not least, don’t forget to keep your bathroom clean. It’s the ideal way to nip mold and mildew in the bud before they can form. However, the bathroom isn’t your only room at risk. What about the rest of the house?
Similar to your bathroom, your kitchen is often a pretty wet place. One of the easiest ways to stop mold growth in your kitchen is to keep old food from piling up. Get rid of those forgotten leftovers deep in the back of your fridge, and keep dirty dishes from piling up in your sink. Pay particular attention to your stove and microwave, which receive more than their fair share of splatters and spills that promote mold growth. Do your best to keep your kitchen dry. Run the faucet on low whenever you’re washing or rinsing, and keep the water in the sink – that is, not on the counter or floor. If water does spill, clean it up immediately before your surfaces can absorb any of it.
OK, we’ve tackled the two primary avenues for mold growth in your home. Where else can mold be a problem? The answer may surprise you.
While your bedroom seems like it would be an unlikely place for mold to grow, it presents several opportunities for mold growth, much to your dismay. The single biggest area of mold growth in your bedroom is your mattress. Ew! The key to prevention is by keeping your bed clean and dry, despite its constant contact with sweat and germs. Thoroughly vacuum your mattress every other month or so, and don’t forget to vacuum the bottom side too. If your bedroom has a ceiling fan, run it regularly to control humidity. Wash and change your sheets regularly, and add a mold-resistant, waterproof mattress cover. If you’re considering a new bed, consider a slatted bed frame that allows air to escape, and skip the box spring if possible.
But wait, that’s not the only place…
In the air you breathe
Did you know that invisible mold spores can circulate throughout your indoor air? Scheduling seasonal HVAC tune-ups and periodic duct cleanings are your best weapons in the fight against airborne mold. You can also take other steps to maintain excellent indoor air quality. Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling offers a range of services and products to help reduce the allergens and pollutants in your home’s air. Whether it’s a whole-house dehumidifier or an ultraviolet (UV) light air cleaner, we’ll find the right solution for your home and your family’s needs.