Preventing Mold in Your Home

Moisture condensation

Posting Date: April 21, 2016
Posted by: Leigh Fichter, Manager, Phoenix, AZ

Part 2 of a 2-part series on mold in your home

In our previous post, we talked about staying on top of mold growth by learning its warning signs. But what can you do to prevent mold from growing in the first place?

Moisture control is the key

Mold is a fungus whose spores make up much of the dust in your home. The problem begins when those spores are exposed to warm, damp environments, where the mold can grow and spread quickly.

The key to stopping that growth is control moisture and dampness in your home.

Home checkups

A good way to wage a dampness control campaign is to identify areas in your home that might support mold growth. Here are some tips:

  1. Bathroom – Stay on top of leaks near your sinks, toilets, and tubs – spot them and repair them quickly! If you have a window, open it when you take a shower (or use an exhaust fan). Wipe down your shower and curtains after use.
  2. Kitchen – Clean refrigerator drip pans regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Moisture can build up on or near improperly sealed doors, and mold can grow there. Remove mold on refrigerator door gaskets and replace faulty gaskets.
  3. Basement and attic – Pay attention to musty smells coming from your basement or attic. Use a humidifier if needed, trying to keep humidity levels at or near 55 percent. Repair roof leaks quickly and keep your gutters clear, and be sure downspouts point water away from your home’s foundation.
  4. Window frames – Seal windows tightly to prevent seepage and look for condensation on and around your window frame.
  5. Hot water heaters – Watch for leaks and pooling water (routine maintenance is the best way to stay on top of leaks and other problems).

Other mold-prevention suggestions

  • Look for signs of mold and address them quickly
  • Use a fan to quickly dry damp carpet and fabrics
  • Wipe up water spills and repair leaks as soon as possible
  • Choose mold-resistant materials for remodeling projects, such as mold resistant drywall or gypsum board.
  • If budget allows, consider installing an ultraviolet (UV) germicidal filter system, to kill mold spores before they grow and spread.