Mold is one of the most common consequences of water damage in American homes and businesses, and one of the most insidious. It can damage parts of your home while lurking unnoticed for weeks or months. Worse, it can cause health problems ranging from allergies and infections to asthma attacks. Some molds even excrete a type of poison called “mycotoxin.”
The good news? Mold removal, indeed preventing the growth of mold in the first place, is a relatively simple process. Here are some tips to beat that sneaky little intruder:
Keep water away from your foundation
Though they’re cool compared to the rest of your house, a wet basement can a great environment for mold growth, so preventing seepage is key to prevent mold in your basement. Here are a few places to check for water seepage:
- Check and clean your gutters regularly. Clogged gutters almost always deposit water against the foundation of the building.
- Watch out for other conditions, which can leave water pooling against the foundation such as sloping ground such as leaky faucets or misdirected sprinklers.
- Check the drip pans and drain lines on any air conditioning units.
- Check out our recent blog for a full set of tips to prevent water damage in your home.
Watch for condensation
Another source of water which mold can use is condensation, especially from pipes. Again, this can be a significant problem in your basement, because of the relatively cool temperature. Use a dehumidifier to prevent condensation on all surfaces and pipe insulation to deal with condensation on your basement plumbing. Pay special attention to areas where a pipe moves from one environment to another, such as passing through a wall. If you’re not careful, condensation can drip undetected from the pipe inside the wall.
When water does get in, move quickly to dry it out
Mold can easily establish itself and grow within 24 to 48 hours, possibly creating a long-term health concern. If you notice a leak, clean up the water as soon as you can, within the first 24 hours if at all possible. Remove and dispose of items (especially fabric items), which have been damaged unless you can dry them completely.
Quick water damage repair goes beyond mold removal. When structural materials like drywall and flooring are left wet too long, they can be compromised and will need to be removed and replaced by professionals, greatly increasing your cost and inconvenience.
Keep your house ventilated
If air is being circulated—and more specifically, if moist air is sent outside—mold spores will find it difficult to gain a foothold. Any time you’re introducing moisture into the air of a room inside your home (by cooking, washing dishes, taking a shower, etc.) make sure you either have a window open or an exhaust vent moving the moist air out, or both.
Keep air moving inside the home as well
Fresh, dry air is mold’s enemy. Look around at how your furniture is arranged. Can some items be moved apart and moved away from walls, allowing air to pass between them? Keep your interior doors open as much as possible so that air can flow between rooms.
Keep the air dry
We mentioned humidity in the basement, but addressing it in the rest of your home is one of the best steps you can take to prevent mold growth. Indoor humidity should be somewhere between 30 and 60 percent, and you can check it with a moisture meter available at any hardware store.
It’s almost impossible to eliminate mold completely, but if you follow these tips, you can keep it—and its damaging effects—to a bare minimum.
LDR Cleaning and Restoration is one of the premier restoration companies in Rockford, Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. LDR provides restoration services from water damage, mold removal, fire damage restoration, storm and hail damage repair for commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Click here to contact LDR, or call 1-888-874-7066.
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