Mold occurs naturally in nature as a means to break down organic material such as fallen leaves and dead trees. Open windows and doors and ventilation systems allow airborne mold spores to enter your home and settle on surfaces. This only becomes a problem if the mold spores come in contact with some source of water or moisture and begin growing. So let’s determine common sources of water or moisture intrusion in your home and ways to prevent it.
- Check and periodically replace water supply lines including toilet, hot water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher for weak spots or leaks. Replace plastic ice maker supply lines with stronger stainless steel.
- Be sure your clothes dryer, stove vent and showers are vented to the outside. Steam is a common source of excess moisture in the home.
- Air conditioning should be set between 73 and 78 degrees to maintain a humidity level below 60%. Humidity is a source of moisture. Setting your air conditioner at too cool of a temperature can create condensation on windows or glass surfaces, another source of moisture. Also, periodically clear the drain lines to keep them unobstructed and draining properly.
Clutter prevents air circulation and can encourage mold growth. Reduce or eliminate general clutter in your home and take steps to prevent overcrowding in closets.
- Structurally, check windows and doors for leaks where water can enter your home. Consider having a roofing contractor inspect your roof for possible leaks.
- Outside, clean and repair gutters. Be sure the ground slopes AWAY from your home’s foundation so water does not leak into or puddle around your home.
Know what to look for and take steps to prevent mold growth in your home. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”