Do you have a mold problem? Well, at least you can console yourself with the fact that you’re not alone, as approximately 45 million households in the US grapple with the same issue.
According to the CDC, mold can be quite problematic, especially for those with respiratory problems.
Also, mold can be a nuisance, especially if it grows inside your bathroom, and that’s why we’re here to help you fix the problem.
For detailed insights on how to keep mold at bay in your home, keep reading!
Mold Levels at Home: Keep Humidity Below This Number
The ideal indoor humidity level is 30 to 60 percent, but mold will start to grow if the humidity inside your home rises above 60 percent and stays at these levels for an extended time.
What Causes Mold to Develop in Your Home?
Several factors contribute to mold growth in your home, so let’s take a closer look.
Molds thrive on organic matter, such as cardboard, paper, and wood.
However, removing all organic materials in your home is not practical since they are primary construction materials, especially for insulation.
Still, there are a handful of alternatives to inorganic materials, such as foam boards and plastics. So if you note that your mold problem is due to organic materials, consider doing away with them and go for inorganic options.
Humidity and Water
Identifying the specific areas and ways that water enters your basement is essential in finding an effective solution to a mold problem.
Talking of water, is the aeration in your bathroom capable of preventing excessive moisture build-up? If not, again, you are inviting mold growth.
You cannot avoid water in the bathroom. Still, you can check if the levels are good enough for the ideal indoor humidity. You’ll need to invest in a humidity sensor and a bathroom fan.
Mold does best in comfortable temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use temperature control and proper ventilation if you want to avoid mold growth.
Identifying Mold in Your Home
Mold can be difficult to spot, especially if it’s growing in hidden areas of your home. Some of the most common places where you can find it include bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics.
My Own Experience With Mold, Mildew, and Renovations
I’ve renovated a couple homes completely in the past three years. Our first and our second one were both netzero renovations (which includes lots of efficiency and solar), but you still need to do the kitchen and other areas like any fix-n-flip type of project.
Regardless of what renovations you’re doing, there’s a good chance you’re pulling things off the walls. In my case, the houses are in Florida, which is incredibly hot and humid most of the year.
That spells danger for areas where moisture gets trapped for longer periods of time.
So what can you do about this? If it’s not bad or tons of mold, the short answer is bleach. You can buy it on your own or get a spray bottle with it. It might cost a little bit more also, but I just buy the Mold Armor spray (affiliate link) at Home Depot to be sure it’s going to work.
It usually works fantastic, and you can see the mold literally fall off the wall after being sprayed. Disclaimer: follow the directions and wear protection per the bottle’s instructions.
Also as a disclaimer: if you have bad mold, or a ton of it, you need to call a mold remediation company and/or get your house tested. This is not something you want to mess around with.
To continue with some more information, here are some signs of mold in your home that you won’t want to ignore.
If your paint bubbles or wallpaper warps, it could be due to increased moisture.
As mentioned, moisture is a precursor to mold growth. Find the source of the moisture, such as a leaky windowsill, and take care of it before mold has a chance to grow. and spread.
Frequent Asthma Attacks
Were you doing just fine, then out of nowhere, started getting asthma attacks that you can’t tell the cause of?
Also, do you have a runny nose almost all year round, even during seasons you’re sure there are no flu outbreaks?
Both could indicate that mold has found a comfortable place in your home.
Fungi in House Fittings
Damp wood and leather attract mildew, while porous materials like padded furniture and foam are more likely to hold onto mold particles.
Make a habit of regularly inspecting your furniture for any tarnished spots, fuzz, or spores, as they’re signs of a mold attack.
General Foul Odor
When you notice a strong, musty odor in your home, a mold problem could be a likely culprit. Mold growing in damp, dark areas will produce a distinct, unpleasant smell.
It’s a good idea to investigate further and see if you can find the source of the odor.
If your carpets look dirty, discolored, or have a musty smell, it could indicate that your home has a mold problem.
Mold thrives in damp and humid environments, so if carpets are contaminated, there is likely excess moisture in your home.
Mold growths on carpets can be challenging to remove and cause health problems if not addressed. So when you spot carpet mold, it’s time to invite carpet cleaning professionals.
Discolored Air Conditioning Filters
Keep an eye on your air conditioning filters. If your A/C filters look dirty or discolored or produce a damp smell, your home probably has a mold problem.
Why is this so? Mold loves damp and humid environments. The cool air inside your air conditioning system can provide the perfect breeding ground for the fungi.
The Negative Health Impacts of Mold
Molds are unhealthy in several ways, such as:
- They are allergens that can cause allergic reactions. You’ll likely experience itchy eyes, skin rashes, runny nose, and sneezing.
- Some molds yield toxic substances called mycotoxins that can cause severe illness and even death.
- Molds are problematic to those with asthma as they are likely to cause attacks.
Why Should You Maintain Proper Humidity Levels?
Primarily, maintaining proper humidity levels is essential in preventing mold growth.
You can do this by:
● Running air conditioning or simply opening windows
● Removing any mold that has accumulated in your home
● Monitoring your home’s humidity levels regularly via a hygrometer. This is especially important during the summer when humidity levels tend to increase.
● Sealing all water leaks
● Installing bathroom fans to remove excess moisture.
Recommended Humidity Levels for Different Climate Zones
Check out this link for a detailed view of the recommended humidity levels in different parts of the US.
If you live in other world parts, worry not, as we’ve got you sorted too. According to the Western Australia Museum, here are the ideal humidity levels for the various climatic zones:
|Climatic Zone||Ideal Temperature||Ideal Humidity|
|Hot/Humid||71.6 to 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit||55 to 70%|
|Temperate||64.4 to 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit||45 to 60%|
|Hot/Dry||71.6 to 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit||40 to 65%|
So what are some remedies for keeping humidity levels optimal in different climate zones?
- Use a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity levels within the recommended range.
- Also, proper ventilation can help remove excess moisture from the air.
- Keep indoor spaces aerated.
- Use air conditioning equipment to keep indoor humidity levels low.
More Tips for Preventing Mold and Managing Humidity
Here are yet more tips to help keep moisture and mold in your home in check.
Leaks are a common source of moisture in homes. They can happen in any part of your house, such as on the roof or water system.
Fix any leaks as soon as you notice them. Leaks can cause significant damage to your home and provide an ideal environment for mold to grow.
Regular cleaning is a simple but effective way to prevent mold growth. Surfaces prone to mold, such as shower stalls and bathroom tile, should be cleaned regularly with a solution of water and bleach.
This can help remove mold spores that may have settled on these surfaces.
Dry Wet Areas Immediately
In case of a flood or water leak, dry the affected area as soon as possible. Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture and discard any salvageable materials to prevent mold growth.
Mold can grow in as little as 48 hours, so it’s important to address any moisture problems immediately.
Professional vs. DIY Mold Removal
When it comes to mold remediation, you have the option of hiring a professional or attempting to remove the mold yourself.
DIY mold removal can be effective if the mold growth is minor and confined to a small area.
However, if the mold growth is significant or you have a compromised immune system, it’s best to hire a professional.
Professionals have the equipment and experience necessary to safely and effectively remove mold from your home.
They can also help you identify the source of mold growth and recommend steps to prevent future mold growth.
Home mold growth can be serious, but you can prevent it with the right steps.
In particular, you can significantly reduce the risk of mold growth by maintaining proper humidity levels, promptly fixing leaks and water damage, and keeping your home well-ventilated.
Additionally, be aware of the signs of mold growth and address any issues promptly.
Consult a professional if you need help handling mold growth in your home.
With the proper precautions, you can keep your home mold-free and ensure the safety and well-being of you and your family!