• Avem Property Management

How to Prevent Mold from Growing in Your Home

The good news is that preventing mold is quite simple, and the key is controlling moisture and humidity in your house. These tips will help keep your home dry and cozy all year long.

The information below comes from an article on by Ashley Matuska.

Controlling Moisture 1. Keep an eye on the humidity levels. Mold grows where there's moisture, so keeping your house dry is one of the most important ways to prevent mold. Install a hygrometer in your home, as this will measure the moisture levels inside.

Ideally, you want to keep the humidity level in your house below 60 percent to prevent mold growth.

2. Open windows when bathing. To prevent too much moisture from building up in the bathroom when you shower or bathe, open a window in the bathroom to vent out moisture. If you don’t have a window in the bathroom, leave the door open and open the closest window you can.

3. Wipe down the walls after bathing. Moisture from a shower or bath that sits on the walls of the shower or tub can lead to mold growth. The best way to stop this from happening is to wipe down the walls with a sponge, towel, or squeegee after every time you bathe.

It’s important to get your whole household on board with wiping down the walls after every shower.

4. Don’t ignore damp clothes. When you're doing laundry, don’t leave wet clothes to sit in the washing machine, as mold will start to grow on the clothes. As soon as the washing cycle is complete, remove the clothes from the machine and transfer them to the dryer or the line.

If you need help remembering to transfer clothes, set a timer when you do laundry.

Similarly, never leave damp clothes or towels lying around on the floor or bunched up in a laundry basket. Always hang wet things to dry.

5. Don’t hang clothes to dry inside. If you don’t have a dryer or prefer to line dry clothes to save energy, always hang the clothes outside. Any water that evaporates from the clothes will otherwise hang in the air in your home, and this can lead to mold growth on walls, floors, and other surfaces.

In winter (or if you live in Portland), if you have to hang clothes to dry inside, make sure the room is well-ventilated, that air is circulating, and that air and moisture from inside are pushed outside with fans.

6. Clean spills and floods immediately. It only takes between 24 and 48 hours for mold to begin growing on wet surfaces. To prevent this, address standing water as soon as the spill, leak, or flood occurs. This includes water on:

  • Carpets and floors

  • Furniture

  • Clothing

  • Bedding

  • Foundation walls and basement floors

7. Use exhaust fans and vents. Exhaust vents are important in many rooms in your house, including the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. In the kitchen and bathroom, turn on exhaust fans anytime you cook or bathe. In the laundry room, make sure the dryer is being vented to the outside.

8. Empty drip trays regularly. Some appliances are equipped with drip trays that catch water and moisture. This includes refrigerators, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. Make sure you drain and clean these regularly to prevent mold from growing in them.

Emptying drip trays will also prevent spills, leaks, and overflows, which can lead to moisture problems under the fridge, near window sills, and on basement floors.

9. Increase ventilation and air circulation. Keeping the air moving in your house and providing a source of fresh air will really help to control the humidity in your home. When the weather allows, open the windows to vent out stale air, and use ceiling fans year-round to circulate the air inside.

If you don’t have ceiling fans, you can also use standing or oscillating fans to circulate air.

10. Run a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will remove any moisture from the air that you aren't able to prevent, and will help you control the humidity in the house. It’s particularly important to have dehumidifiers in damp areas, such as basements and crawl spaces.

If you have a large space, consider setting up at least two dehumidifiers in different areas of the house.

11. Fix leaks. Leaks are a main cause of moisture problems in a house, which can come from pipes, appliances, the roof, and faucets and taps. Inspect your home regularly for leaks and signs of water damage, and repair issues immediately. Don’t forget to check for leaks:

  • Under sinks

  • Around fridges, water coolers, and ice makers

  • Under floors, especially in the basement

  • Around air conditioners

  • Near toilets, tubs, and showers

Always let property management know as soon as you notice a leak!

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