Mold and mildew are not only aggravating factors that impact how our homes look, but they can also lead to significant health issues. For example, living in a home with these growths can lead to headaches, respiratory problems, eye, nose, or throat irritations, sinus congestion, rashes, and more.
If you have elderly family members, infants, children, or pregnant women living in your place, the risk of being negatively affected is even higher. As such, you need to take steps to prevent mold and mildew from growing in and around your property and combat them quickly if they do pop up.
Know How to Identify Mold and Mildew
It’s beneficial to know how to identify mold and mildew in the first place. If you can’t spot it, you can’t address it if it proliferates in your home. Both are a type of fungus, but they differ in some ways. Mold can be black, red, blue, or green and typically has a slimy or fuzzy texture. It can grow anywhere there’s moisture, such as tiles, wood, insulation, fabric, paper, paints, upholstery, drywall, and more. On the other hand, mildew usually grows flat on surfaces and starts as a powdery or downy white shade that can later turn yellow, brown, or black. It’s commonly found on organic materials like walls, ceilings, textiles, leather, wood, and paper.
Set Up Proper Ventilation
One of the biggest ways to keep mold and mildew at bay at home is to ensure you have enough ventilation in and around your property. Since mold and mildew thrive in humid places, it’s vital to keep humidity at low levels. Set up ways to get the moisture out in any area of your home prone to excessive moisture. For instance, turn vent fans on in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, or other areas where they might be installed.
You can also utilize plug-in dehumidifiers or use whole-home humidification products if you think there’s a need. Having ceiling fans in many of your rooms will also help lower humidity and combat moisture. It’s worth installing these products if you don’t already have them, even in compact bedrooms or other spaces. You can buy a small ceiling fan for rooms with limited width, length, or depth and low ceiling heights. You may need two or more ceiling fans to properly ventilate large rooms.
Plus, air conditioning units can combat high humidity levels (and some feature in-built humidification systems, too, which is a bonus), as can opening the windows around your home to let fresh air in whenever possible. Let light into rooms, too, as mold and mildew grow in not just humid and warm conditions but also dark ones.
Take Time to Declutter
Keep in mind, as well, that the more clutter you have in rooms, the more likely it is that mold and mildew will grow, as less air will ventilate throughout spaces. You might also find it harder to clean areas and therefore miss mold or mildew when they appear. Try to eliminate junk accumulations in your home and regularly declutter to avoid fungi problems.
Attend to Leaks ASAP
Another tip for preventing mold and mildew is attending to any leaks that occur in your property as soon as possible. Often, these fungi grow due to water coming into the home in spots where you don’t realize there’s a problem. You need to get your roof and gutters checked, cleaned, and repaired as needed ASAP so that leaks can’t lead to the build-up of water in your roof or other parts of your house.
Identify and Correct Problem Areas
While you can’t make your home 100 percent mold- or mildew-proof, you can make it more resistant to these substances. Auditing your property will help with this. For example, go through your entire place and ask yourself, where are the problem areas? Are there spots where you’ve noticed mold accumulating a lot in the past or windows that often seem to have condensation on them when they shouldn’t? Have you noticed any water stains on ceilings or flooding in your basement?
You may need to do some major excavation and waterproofing or do other jobs to fix these issues, such as swapping out old fittings and fixtures and other materials for mold-resistant ones as you go. However, remember that even though that takes time, money, and energy now, you’ll find it’s cheaper and causes fewer headaches in the long run.
Other ways to prevent mold and mildew include removing items that have been soaked from flooding before they can get moldy or overrun with mildew and drying wet areas thoroughly each time you use them. Plus, get into the habit of cleaning regularly and thoroughly, preferably with helpful anti-mold and anti-mildew solutions.
While it’s incredibly frustrating having to deal with fungi outbreaks in your home, as you can see, there are numerous proactive steps you can take to combat them.