Spring is definitely in the air. Along with the warming temps, pollen is now coating everything in sight. What you may not see as clearly are mold spores floating in the same air.
All homes have a small amount of mold which is unavoidable and not dangerous to humans or pets. But if conditions cause it to start growing, it is hard to remove once it takes hold. Often the first sign of mold in your home or building can feel like seasonal allergies. For those with mold allergies or other lung conditions like asthma, breathing in these microscopic particles can bring on an attack. So, finding it and removing it is important to ensuring a healthy environment.
Keep in mind that mold can grow at any time of year too, but it is particularly prevalent in the spring when temperatures increase, rains fall, and humidity rises.
What can you do to keep mold at bay?
First, understand that mold loves humidity levels above 60%, so the first thing you can do is keep your home’s humidity at 50% or lower. Consider using a dehumidifier in bathrooms where moisture tends to be at its highest, or simply open a window after showering. Running your air conditioning also tends to decrease humidity levels. Other suggestions to consider:
- A good, old-fashioned spring cleaning can work wonders when it comes to mold prevention. Mold feeds on dust, among other things, so removing one of its food sources is a solid start to keeping your mold levels in check.
- Regularly check your basement for leaks or water damage. Mold can grow quickly, and often starts in areas that we don’t often access.
- Clean your gutters so water doesn’t accumulate. This is particularly important in the spring and fall when falling leaves and other debris can clog them and prevent water from running off.
- If condensation is collecting on your windows, pipes, or walls, wipe them dry and look for the source of the moisture. This is often an initial sign that you have water issues.
- Empty drip plans from air conditioning units, refrigerators, and dehumidifiers frequently. While removing the mold from the air is a good thing, leaving it unattended in drip pans simply moves the issue from one place to another.
- Repair water leaks from old or faulty plumbing immediately. Even a few days of delay can initiate a mold issue that can become a real issue.
- Make sure your windows and doors seal tightly and add weatherstripping or caulk if needed. It is not uncommon for moisture to enter through windows and for mold to start growing on your sills before spreading to other areas of your home.
- When possible, keep the door of a front-loading washer open when not in use since they are prone to mold growth. And while there, keep your dryer free of lint as it is a source of mold growth if left sitting too long.
All told, do all you can to keep your home as clean and dry as possible. There are at-home test kits you can purchase if you notice a musty odor or are concerned about certain areas of your home. But your best bet is to have us come and inspect your home. If we see areas of concern, we can point those out and give you the information you need to prevent it from becoming a bigger issue. And if we find mold, we can quickly do what is necessary to remove it for you.