Using Moisture Control to Fight MoldJune 16, 2011 0 Comments
Controlling moisture is the number one way to eliminate and prevent mold. All public health agencies report that excess moisture is the main cause of mold in homes and businesses, usually due to a lack of air flow and poor ventilation. There are a few easy steps home and business owners can take to control the mold growth indoors. When you have a mold problem, you need professional remediation. However, without proper moisture controls implemented, the mold will only grow back.
Here are some tips for controlling moisture indoors where mold is a problem:
- Maintain humidity levels at 30-50%: Controlling humidity levels will greatly reduce the presence of mold, as well as dust mites and other microbes. Besides weather in the southern part of the U.S., humidity can be caused by dishwashers, especially the heated drying cycle. Another common source of humidity is trapped bathroom steam from showers, and the escaping air from the clothes dryer.
- Reduce the moisture in the air: Air conditioners and humidifiers are both excellent ways to reduce moisture in the air if proper ventilation is not possible. In addition, in the case of humid weather, when ventilation will not make much of a difference, running the air conditioner or humidifier will help greatly. Mold will begin to grow as the humidity reaches 50%, and especially so during the summer months. Be sure to have your air conditioner or humidifier cleaned each year before use, as a dirty filter can make mold and allergies much worse by exposing your home or business to even more mold spores.
- Keep air flowing: Ventilation, when possible, is the best defense against mold. Whether there has been a previous infestation of mold or not, it will continue to grow wherever there is a lack of proper air flow. Increase ventilation by leaving doors between rooms and closets open. Make sure the clothes dryer is vented to the outside, and that there are no leaks in the ventilation hosing. A very important place to monitor ventilation is in the bathroom. Most will have a small window for air flow, but that is not always enough. Frequently use the vent fan, and in the absence of one, use a portable fan to clear out steam after showers and baths. Doing so will greatly reduce the chance of mold on the walls and shower doors and curtains.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mold spores are always present, and there is no way to eliminate all mold indoors. However, the key to keeping the spores from growing into an unsightly problem is to implement moisture control. Mold will grow at a rapid rate on many surfaces, including wood, paper, carpets, and clothing. By reducing moisture in environments with air flow or ventilation problems, the chances of developing mold that will need to be killed and removed is greatly reduced, saving money and a big headache.
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Content borrowed partially from moldspot.com.