Keep Healthy Humidity Levels
Mold and mildew thrive in a humid environment, so it is important to keep your humidity levels down. In areas that are prone to excessive moisture, make sure you ventilate. When using the kitchen, bathroom or basement, turn on the vent fans. If there are no vent fans in these rooms, have them repaired or installed by an electrician. Also, consider installing whole-home humidification or plug-in dehumidifiers.
Attics fans can also help manage moisture and provide ventilation in the home. Ask your HVAC professional if attic fans are right for your home.
You can also take measures to control the humidity levels in your home with your HVAC system, which may or may not have a humidification system built in. Regardless, running the air conditioner will help dry and circulate the air. A closed up home in the summer without air conditioning and little air movement will create the humid, warm and dark conditions necessary for mold growth.
Prevent Moisture With Proper Ventilation
Treehugger / Christian Yonkers
It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn’t invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture clothes dryers, stoves to the outside . Use AC units and dehumidifiers , but make sure they dont produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient home may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering, or run an exhaust fan.
Cleaning Your Home Room By Room For Best Mold Prevention
Whether you are starting with the bathroom or bedroom, there are some tasks you should do in every single room of your home, from dusting your ceiling to vacuuming the floors. With each step you take, thoroughly examine your home for possible signs of mold. If it is light-colored, it is probably mildew, and only mildew can be treated with home products. If you are not sure if it is mold or mildew, let professionals test it for you!
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What Are The Signs Of Mold In Your Vacation Rental
A part of preventing mold from spreading is understanding the signs of a mold outbreak in the first place. Unfortunately, mold and mildew dont show themselves in a big way. Rather, it sneaks into your home and starts to take up residence with your guests. In the sad case that hosts are too late and discover a mold outbreak when the problem has festered through the house, the cost and energy are much greater in the efforts to eliminate the problem.
For this reason, its imperative that you know the signs of mold in your vacation home before its too late. We can observe mold and mildew problems in two ways: evidence throughout the house and side effects felt by people. The signs of mold might include:
- Unusually damp areas
- Stains or greyish discoloration on the walls and ceiling
- A musty odor
- Wood rotting
- Visible growth
Scan your vacation rental and see if any of these signs are presented inside or outside the home. Remember mold isnt just limited to the popular areas, like basements, and under sinks. Youll also need to check the outside parameter of your home and any places mold might be hiding without your knowledge.
What about people? Obviously, the reason hosts and homeowners are so concerned about mold isnt just the damage to the home, but the negative effects mold exposure can have on guests. Not only can it be dangerous, but it can also shut down your vacation rental business. With that said, here are some side effects of mold exposure:
How Does Mold Get Into Our Homes
The more people who live in a home, the more likely it is that molds will grow inside it. This is because we release a lot of moisture in the air when we breathe. When we take long hot showers, cook with uncovered pots, dry clothes on an indoor clothesline, or use humidifiers, we also make more moisture for molds to grow. Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and storing many vegetables like potatoes and squash can make a mold problem more likely, too.
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Identify Possible Areas Of Growth
One of the first steps in mold prevention is to check your home for possible sources or causes. Make an audit of the areas in your house. Identify areas where there could be high humidity or moisture, such as bathrooms, basements, and crawlspaces. Determine if there are issues such as leaky plumbing, roof leaks, damping, poor water drainage, or damaged gutters.
Mold could also grow on numerous household surfaces, including drywall, ceiling and wall tiles, wallpaper, fabric, plants, insulation, cardboard, carpets, and wood products. When constantly damp or wet, these surfaces could host mold growths, which could spread quickly if left unattended.
Fixing these problems early on could not only save you money in the long run but also keep your home safe.
Regularly Conduct Maintenance And Repairs
Routinely inspect your home for leaks, damps, flooding, or clogged gutters, especially after a storm or heavy rain. During dry weather, check for cracks or signs of foundation shifting. After finding such problems, have them repaired as soon as possible because where water damage occurs, mold growth often would soon follow.
Make sure to make your house as watertight as possible. Regularly inspect and maintain seals around doors, windows, and pipes. Clean roof gutters to avoid clogs, plug holes on roofs and make sure to direct water away from your house.
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How To Remove Mold From Shower Curtains And Liners
- If your shower curtain or liner is plastic, a mold and mildew spray thats safe for plastic, like Clorox Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover, can be used to get rid of mold. Simply spray on, wait until the stains disappear and rinse off.
- Another option: Wash your plastic liner in the washing machine on the delicate cycle with warm water, laundry detergent and bleach. If the shower curtain is fabric, its best to wash it on the warmest setting possible according to the care instructions.
Insulate Your Walls Basement Pipes And Windows
Do not give mold reasons to grow check every pipe for leaks and insulate them to prevent condensation due to the difference in air and pipe temperature. As soon as you notice drops of water on the pipes, ensure that they are properly changed and sealed. Use pipe sleeves, fiberglass, or other insulation materials to wrap the pipes, or cover your windows to prevent condensation during winter.
Research dew point, as it is a big cause of indoor mold, especially in basements. Ineffective insulation can cause dew point/condensation issues behind walls, malfunctioning sump pumps, water tank corrosion and inadequate basement underpadding .
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How To Remove Mold From Walls And Ceilings
The bad news: If the surface is very porous, like a ceiling tile, it’s best to replace it. The good news: If you find small areas of mold on walls or ceilings of sheetrock or plaster, you can stop mold when it starts if you act fast. Here’s how:
- Clean the surface with detergent and water using a sponge or brush and let the surface dry completely.
- Follow with a water and bleach solution: Mix ¾ cup of chlorine bleach to a gallon of warm water. Wearing rubber gloves, apply the water-bleach mixture to the stains with a sponge or brush.
- Let sit five minutes, scrub, rinse, and air dry.
In The Walls And On The Floor
From top to bottom, mold growth is likely in a bathroom. In addition to the places mentioned above, pay attention to any water leaks coming from the walls or floors these leaks can cause mold to grow quickly. Bathroom rugs are also known to harbor mold, and are usually not washed as often as they should be.
Some tips to keep your bathroom free of mold
- Use a ventilation fan during your bath or shower, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes after
- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity levels down throughout your home
- Keep all surfaces, including counters and floors, clean and dry
- Check for leaky faucets and pipes
Take Care Of Your Body
If you feel like you have been exposed to mold, you may want to consider treating your body to good wholesome foods, supplements and by drinking plenty of water to help flush the toxins away. In addition, add Isagenix IsaLean Shakes which are chocked full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and high-quality protein to your daily diet, along with Isagenix Complete Essentials which is a whole-body nutritional support program. Once a week give your body a break from eating and nourish your cells with nutrient-dense Cleanse for Life drink. By keeping your body healthy and your immune system up-to-par, you can help your bodys systems combat some of the damaging effects of mold exposure.
Hopefully, you dont have mold in your home. By following a few of the tips on preventing mold growth you can help to discourage mold from establishing itself. If you do have mold, follow the tips on naturally cleaning your home to get rid of it, and always, eat healthily, take quality supplements, and nourish your body every day to help your immune system stay strong.
Avoid Overloading Your Basement
Both an organic food source and moisture are important for mold to grow. Thats why its very important to cut the food source, along with lowering the humidity level in your basement. There is no better food for mold than the things you keep in your basement such as clothes, books, carpets, food and even the cardboard boxes in which you store all of those things.
Try eliminating everything that you dont need and avoid overstuffing your basement at all costs. Air must be able to flow and it cannot do so if every inch of your basement is covered. If you must use your basement for storage, and you are worried about mold, ensure that everything is properly dried and moved away from the walls. If there is a leak or a flood, take out everything that may have been in touch with water, dry it well and then put it back.
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How To Prevent Mold From Growing On Walls
The most common causes of mold growing on walls include:
Moreover, we can also thank:
We explained humidity above, so it is time to devote a word or two to other two most common mold causes.
Condensation forms when water vapor in the air meets cold surface and cools to become liquid. With enough moisture and an organic food source, you can see mold developing on your walls. The same goes for water leaks leaking pipes near or inside the wall can lead to excess moisture, which in turn will cause mold to grow.
Check The Humidity Level Regularly
The ideal humidity level in the house should be between 30% and 50%. A high level of humidity leads to excess moisture, which creates the perfect conditions for mold to develop. You can check the humidity level by yourself or you can ask professionals to check it for you.
In case your humidity level is high, professionals can immediately check for mold spores and even mold signs. In addition, mold removal experts will advise you on proper dehumidifiers and any additional steps needed to remove mold from your home.
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Take Precautions After A Flood Or Other Water Damage
Always be on the lookout for signs of possible mold growth, such as musty smells or watermarks on walls and ceilings. In the event of a major water incident:
- Remove standing water as quickly as possible. Standing water is a breeding ground for microorganisms, which can become airborne and be inhaled.
- Properly dry or remove soaked fabric itemslike carpets, padding and upholsterywithin 24 48 hours after a flood to prevent mold growth. Anything that cant be properly dried should be discarded and replaced.
- Remove early mold growth by doing a thorough cleaning with bleach and water. To prevent mold from re-growing, wash and disinfect all areas that have been flooded. This includes walls, floors, closets, shelves, as well as heating and air-conditioning systems.
- Bag and dispose of any material with moldy residue, such as rags, paper or debris to prevent mold from spreading.
- To prevent mold from re-growing, it is essential that the source of the moisture be eliminated.
- For serious mold problems, get the advice and assistance of a mold remediation expertyour insurance agent might be able to put you in touch.
- Contact your insurance professional if believe your mold problem is caused by a covered peril.
How To Clean Mildew
To clean moldy carpets, start by thoroughly vacuuming the affected carpet to remove as much of the mildew as you can. After you are done, either throw away the bag or clean the canister outside. Then proceed to clean the carpet as follows.
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Mold In Air Conditioners
Mold can grow in many areas in your home, particularly where it is dark and humid. So it should come as no surprise that air conditioners are one of the places where mold can be found. Unfortunately, AC units represent a particularly risky place for mold to grow, since they push air through the house.
This means that a moldy air conditioner will actually blow microscopic mold spores into the air you breathe, spreading the spores throughout the rest of your home. Since mold presents multiple health risks, its important to prevent mold from developing in your air conditioner, and to eradicate it if it does appear.
A Mold Grows In Everything
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , mold is everywhereit grows year-round and can be found both indoors and outdoors. Mold is a living organism and, as such, it grows and spreads when it has the right conditionsand it likes the damp.
Outdoor molds are commonly found in shady, damp areas and in soil. Indoors, mold can be found where humidity and moisture levels are high, such as in basements, kitchens, bathrooms and on ceilings and wall interiors where water from leaky pipes, roofs or windows can accumulate.
Indoor mold can be ruinous to surfaces and to your belongings. While most molds pose no threat to humans, the CDC warns that certain molds can produce hay fever-like allergic symptoms
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What Is Mold And Mildew
Whats wrong with a little mold and mildew? As long as they stay put behind the laundry tub, out of sight under the basement carpet, or only peek around the edge of the bathroom wallpaper, who cares? Well, you should, because theyre not only eating away at your house, they could be eating away at your health, too.
Here well take a look at what mold and mildew are, how they affect the health of you and your house and, finally, how you can prevent their growth and how to get rid of mildew and mold. You can learn more about mold, including common mold myths and what you really need to know about black mold.
Mold and mildewbig-time consumers
Though there are thousands of different types of mold and mildew, they all have two things in common: The first is that their mission on Earth is to digest the organic world around them. The second is that they all need moisture so their little digestive enzymes can go to work.
How Mold And Mildew Affect Your Home
Mold needs to consume something to survive, and its perfectly happy eating your house if you let it. Some molds and mildews are fond of the cellulose in the paper backing on drywall, insulation and wallpaper. Others have a ravenous appetite for the glues used to bond carpet to its backing. Left unchecked, mold eventually destroys the parts of the drywall, wallpaper and carpet it attacks.
But many molds just like to feast on the every day dust and dirt that gather in the perpetually moist regions of your house. They wont destroy your house, but they can sure make it look, feel and smell bad. Mold can mar your walls with white spider weblike growths or clusters of small black specks. It creates the smell we often refer to as musty. This white mold in a basement can be slippery and dangerous when it grows on damp basement stairs. Molds rarely go so far as to rot wood or do structural damagetheyll leave that to their fungal cousinsbut they can wreak plenty of havoc. We cant overemphasize that mold needs moisture to get established, grow and reproduce. Mold problems and longstanding moisture or high humidity conditions go hand in hand. To conquer mold, you must also conquer moisture problems. Fig. B shows common hangouts for mold and some steps you can take to minimize its growth and the damage it inflicts.
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