Humid Climate and Mold Growth: How to Prevent?
Living in a wet climate requires you to take more care in relation to mold growth. Like most living things, mold needs humidity to live and grow. That sounds like common sense, however, a lot of people don’t realize this. They tend to think that because they have a home with a good plumbing system and an air conditioner, they don’t have to worry about any kind of mold growth. Nevertheless, when living in a wet, humid area of the country, the property can harbor a lot of moisture, especially if there is carpet.
Taking into account that the only option to prevent mold growth is to make sure the ambient conditions in the house are not right for mold to grow, here we share some tips to help you prevent mole:
- Guarantee Adequate Ventilation: Musty, stale, moist air offers a perfect breeding ground for the delicate mold spores. To prevent such breeding opportunities for mold, you need to allow an adequate amount of fresh air inside your house and ensure good air circulation within your house. Some ways to achieve this include keeping the windows open on sunny days, opening the doors between rooms, opening drawers and closet doors, reducing untidiness and moving furniture away from walls to improve the airflow in your house. You should also keep air ducts clean and in good condition, and run exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens where steam and moisture can build up as a result of common everyday activities. Make sure all areas of your house are well ventilated and free of musty odors.
- Take Care of Condensation: Mold grows and proliferates on surfaces with condensation, such as windows, metal pipes, and concrete walls. To reduce condensation in your home, you need to keep the indoor temperature higher and the relative humidity in the house lower. For that you can install suitable insulation to any necessary surfaces. If you notice condensation, make sure you dry the surface immediately
- Use Air Conditioners and Dehumidifiers to control your indoor climate and keep air humidity low.
- Monitor Humidity: Keeping in mind that above 70% relative humidity certain species of mold can begin growing, it seems wise to get an indoor humidity monitor. An indoor humidity monitor will help you keep track of moisture levels that, ideally, fall between 35% and 50% relative humidity. In very humid climates, at the height of summer, you may have to live with readings closer to 55%, but if you reach 60% relative humidity, it’s time to look for the source of the added moisture.
- Look for Standing Water: If the air conditioner isn’t the issue, search for standing water or chronic dampness that’s increasing indoor humidity and providing an attractive environment for mold. Check for puddles or dampness around hot water tanks, sump pumps, freezers, refrigerators, basement doors, and windows. Inspect crawl spaces for ground water dampness or ground leaks.
- Clean, dust, and disinfect household surfaces: Regular cleaning helps remove the mold spores from the surfaces. A clean environment reduces the appearance of dirt and grime (excellent sources of organic food for the harmful fungi) in the home. Therefore, you are strongly recommended to wash and disinfect plastic, metal, glass, stone, tile and other hard surfaces in your home on a regular basis and dry everything very well, right after the cleaning session. Also, make sure you dust and vacuum often (preferably with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter) to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt on your furniture, carpets, draperies, etc. It has been found that about 80% of domestic mold grows on dust. Consider having the carpets and upholstery in your home professionally cleaned once or twice a year.
Last but not least, plan and carry out habitual inspections of your property, especially immediately after violent storms, torrential rains, snow meltdown, etc., to detect subsequent mold proliferation in its early stages and prevent it from further dispersion into your home.
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