An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure! You can implement preventative maintenance and reduce the chance of you having a sever mold problem by doing the following:
- Take care of needed repairs quickly before neglect can cause them to get even worse, even if it’s an initially small problem.
- Perform regular home maintenance. Keeping the home and its parts in good working order reduces the likelihood of a water emergency.
- Perform a yearly home inspection. Many people choose fall and spring as a good time for a home inspection as they get ready for seasonal changes. Look for signs of potential water problems, such as damp spots, worn roof shingles, or water stains.
- Periodically check the roof drainage system, such as gutter and downspouts, and make sure it takes water away from the walls and foundation.
- Make sure the building foundation is clear of landscaping so that it does not hold moisture against the building exterior and allow ventilation around the foundation.
- Keep sprinklers away from the building.
- Control the humidity inside your home – a relative humidity range of 40% to 50% is recommended to prevent mold problems while remaining comfortable.
- Use exhaust fans when performing household tasks that use a lot of water like showering, cooking, and running the dishwasher/dryer.
- Limit possible moisture sources from your home. Examples include lots of house plants, firewood stored inside, clothes being dried inside, unvented combustion heaters (like kerosene heaters, which can produce large amounts of moisture), and humidifiers.
- If your home has a crawl space, cover the ground with a moisture barrier such as heavy plastic.
- Insulate any exposed cold water pipes and cold air ducts. This will prevent condensation from forming on them and creating moisture.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls, or pipes, act quickly to dry the wet surface and reduce the cause of the condensation. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
- Avoid carpet on floors with a high capacity for moisture, such as concrete floors in basements.
- Allow space between furnishings and window treatments on exterior walls for proper air ventilation.
- Vent all combustion appliances to the outside.
- Do not overcool you home if you have an air conditioner, as this can lead to more condensation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly
- If other moisture control measures do not work, consider using dehumidifiers in trouble spots.
Every building is different – find out what options work for you and do your best to keep your mold in check!