Moisture can enter your home very easily no matter the season. Snowy boots track snow in the house, a wet jacket from being out in the rain evaporates moisture once hung inside (if left in a pile on the carpet floor it can encourage mold growth under that carpet), a wet towel left on the floor, windows accidentally left open during a rain storm–we’ve all been there.
Be sure to check any appliances or spaces that can collect condensation–refrigerators, water tanks, windows, bathrooms, crawl spaces and attics. Everyone has moisture sources in their home, what is important is to quickly dry any moisture that you find so that mold doesn’t have the opportunity to start growing.
It is also important to direct outside moisture away from your home. Fix leaky roofs, clean your gutters regularly, and take note of any water pooling near your foundation so that proper drainage can be installed.
Love houseplants? Us too! They have great benefits and can help to clean the air inside your home. However, you water your plants right? (We’ve forgotten occasionally. Whoops!) All that moisture from the water goes into your plant but the soil still has water evaporating from it and into the air inside your home. Try to keep your plants from sitting in standing water or being overwatered to help reduce the amount of humidity being introduced into the air.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the humidity level inside your home should be between 30 and 60 percent relative humidity. This is not only comfortable for your body (not so low that your skin feels dry and not so high that you feel sticky) but helps keep the organic materials in your home dry. If the relative humidity inside your home goes above 60% there is a larger chance of mold growth.
In many climates in the United States, a whole-home dehumidifier can help to regulate the humidity in your home and costs far less in electricity than the box store units. Check out our partner KH Air Solutions for more information.
Did you ever notice that older drafty homes rarely have mold growth inside? This is because they have good airflow. It’s hard on your heating and cooling bill but no mold! Newer homes are seeing more mold growth than older homes simply because airflow is not as efficient.
A few ways to increase airflow and ensure proper ventilation are to check your HVAC vents to make sure they are not blocked, inspect your attic and ridge vents for proper installation, use ceiling fans, and in some cases, installing a heat or energy recovery ventilation system.
When you spill something, track water into your house, or create moisture–clean it up. The best way to prevent mold is to keep your home dry. The same goes for wet clothing or towels. Make sure to hang them to dry or pop them in the dryer if you’re able to.
A nice hot steamy shower is sooooooo great isn’t it? Yes, we agree. And your kids probably splash water outside the tub if they’re anything like ours.
The bathroom is usually a big moisture problem area and can get moldy and mildewy fast! Be sure to wipe up the floor, use the exhaust fan, and clean your bathroom regularly. The combination of moisture and organic matter (think dead skin, hair, and some bath and body products) is a breeding ground for mold. Almost everyone has mildew in their bathroom but this can be easily managed with proper ventilation and cleaning.
Don’t have an exhaust fan? It’s time to install one that is properly vented out of your home.