More than a thousand types of mold saturate the walls, ceilings, window frames and furnishings of homes and office buildings throughout the United States. In fact, mold may affect as many as 25% of households in the U.S. The very worst of these molds, toxic molds, can lead to blindness, brain damage or possibly even death.
Ridding your home of mold often requires gutting your walls and floors, but also can cost thousands of dollars. A mold test kit can help detect the presence of mold in your home, office or apartment, but professional mold remediation can cost as much as $30,000 if significant structural damage to walls or furniture has occurred.
The solution? Keep your home mold free! While we cannot guarantee you will be able to completely prevent mold from infesting your home, you can take a number of precautions to stymie the growth of potentially harmful fungi. Below we present five measures that will significantly reduce the likelihood of mold infiltrating your home.
Prevent Water Leaks
Moisture is a mold's number one ally. Leaking roofs, walls and pipes all provide the required moisture for molds to grow and reproduce. As soon as you realize you have a leak, fix it immediately.
Mold can begin to grow when humidity levels are as low as 56% percent for a sustained period of time. Fortunately, humidity does have an arch nemesis ventilation. Open your windows during the day when the weather is nice and warm. However, remember to close your windows when it's raining outside; you don't want to let in more moisture. Two of the most important rooms to ventilate are the kitchen and bathroom, where steam and moisture tend to accumulate quickly.
Dry Wet Clothes Immediately
It is critical that you dry your clothes immediately after you wash them. Wet clothes provide the perfect vehicle for mold growth due to their high moisture content. If you dry your clothes on a clothesline, be sure to dry them outdoors. Drying clothes on a clothesline indoors will release moisture into the air, increasing the humidity and resulting in an ideal environment for mold growth.
When water vapor in the air cools and coverts to liquid, condensation occurs. Condensation often appears on concrete walls, windows and metal pipes. Combat condensation by keeping the temperature in your home warm. Installing insulation is an effective way of keeping the rooms in your home warm.
Keep your HVAC systems clean
Another important measure is keeping your air ducts, heating systems, air conditioning systems clean and changing the filters regularly. These systems can promote and transport mold, dispersing mold spores throughout your house.
If you do suspect toxigenic molds are growing inside your home, contact a mold removal professional immediately. Toxic molds not only can wreak havoc on allergy sufferers, but they can also can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis (severe lung inflammation), lead to blindness, cause irreversible brain damage and, according to the Environmental Protecting Agency, promote cancer growth.