This post brought to you by ServiceMaster Restore. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Daily Mom.
Homeownership is a wonderful thing, but it is a huge responsibility. Home maintenance is never ending. There are some problems you need to prevent at all costs, and one of those problems is mold. Mold, a fungi that can grow inside and outside, doesn’t just silently destroy your home, it puts everyone in your home at risk for serious health problems. If mold gets deep enough, you could end up having to evacuate your home completely while it is removed and portions of your home are repaired or rebuilt. Prevent mold with these tips, and avoid a lot of heartache, inconvenience, and money spent.
Seek It Out: First and foremost, don’t be afraid to look for the problem. With mold, ignorance is not bliss. Inspect your home, and nip a potential mold problem early. Look for leaky pipes or plumbing that could cause excess moisture, especially in poorly ventilated areas like the basement, under sinks, the bathroom, and garage. Some warning signs of mold already growing are dark spots on ceilings, floors, and walls, and musty smells. You may experience illness symptoms like coughing, sneezing, trouble breathing, and wheezing if mold is present in your home. If you fear you have mold but cannot tell (it happens all the time), you should hire a professional for residential mold detection. The best kind of detection will use infrared technology.
Fans Work: Always use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. If you’re renovating these rooms, make sure you’re installing proper ventilation equipment – at least one window or one exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom. Also, don’t just run your bathroom exhaust fan while showering – keep it on after you’re done and consider opening a window to ensure the space dries out as much as possible. Another best practice is to hang up your bath mats and make sure they have the opportunity to dry between uses. It helps to open windows while cooking. Running a dishwasher also creates humidity in your kitchen, and fans and/or an open window will help with that.
Clean Grout: Mold may show itself first in the bathroom, and it cannot be ignored. Mold loves to set up camp in grout and it can be tough to get out of there. This is because grout is porous. It is hard to remove mold once it is set in your grout, but it can be done. There are several cleaning agents that remove mold from grout between tiles: bleach, vinegar, a baking soda paste, or baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. Here are detailed instructions on removing mold from grout.
Halt Humidity: One of the most effective means of keeping mold in check is to keep the humidity level of your home at 40–60 percent. Invest in small household dehumidifiers to reduce moisture. If you have a large home, you may need more than one. If you have a basement, it is a good idea to run a dehumidifier all the time as basements are naturally moist and a favorite space for mold. While it may be tempting to reach for a humidifier to alleviate your symptoms during cold and flu season, remember they add moisture to the air, so be cautious about how often you run them.
For more tips on getting the most out of your basement, check out Creating The Best Basement on The Block.
Repair Your Roof: While it may not be as glamorous as a new marble countertop in your kitchen or bath, repairing a leaky roof is a fix that should not be skipped when combating mold. Water from the roof can seep into your walls, creating a perfect breeding ground for nasty mold. This is a difficult problem to fix, as sheetrock may need to be cut away and removed, rather than spot-treated.
Don’t Feed Mold: Remove food sources for mold – which can include decorative terrariums and plants. Instead, consider other types of interior decorations like framed photographs, mason jars, or a gallery wall, which are all less likely to grow mold while still adding an inviting and personalized touch to your space.
Install Kitchen Appliances Properly: Don’t sacrifice function for aesthetics, particularly in the kitchen. All stoves should have a hood or vent so any moisture from cooking has a way out of your home.
Ditch Dust: Don’t allow dust to build up in register vents. Vacuum vents every month to remove dust, a primary food source for mold. If you have central heating and air, remember to clean the baseboards, floorboards, and bathroom vents as well.
Prevent Condensation: Condensation from any source leaves mold creating moisture in your home. You can prevent the build up of condensation by keeping humidity down, increasing ventilation, keeping the air moving with fans, covering cold surfaces like cold water pipes, and increasing the temperature of the air in your home.
Leave Some Jobs to the Experts: Be careful taking on big projects, specifically with the HVAC system. Don’t use consumer vacuums to clean mold (this includes wet/dry vacuums, which can actually make a mold issue even worse). A mold infestation in the walls or floors is not something you can just clean up on your own. Do not wait to deal with mold in your home. It will only continue to grow and cause bigger problems, leading to more inconvenience and ultimately more expense. You will actually save money by calling in a professional right away before sheetrock is full of mold and you need full reconstructive services in your home. ServiceMaster Restore® experts have the expertise, skills, and resources needed to get rid of mold for good. Don’t mess around with mold. The future of your home and the health of your family is at stake.
Mold isn’t the only problem that can happen in your kitchen. Here are tips for Mastering Kitchen Clutter to keep your kitchen nice and neat.
Photo Credits: everyavenuegirl, Kristen D.