An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Remediation
Let’s face it; mold remediation can be compared to things like going to the dentist to get a cavity fixed. In some cases, it can be closer to getting a root canal. It is just not one of those things most people plan on or look forward to doing.
Just as important as maintaining proper dental hygiene, it’s a great idea to prevent mold growth from developing. Preventive measures indoors can help avoid the need for mold removal in the future.
Since moisture is the number one supporter of mold growth, we need to ensure the basics are covered, as well as some things that might not be so obvious.
Ounces of Prevention
- Pay close attention to plumbing leaks. Have them repaired as quickly as possible.
- In basements, perform waterproofing to repair any moisture producing wall or floor cracks.
- Chimneys, vents, or other items protruding through the roof need to be sealed to prevent moisture from entering the home.
- Keep gutters clean and make sure downspouts are connected, routing rainwater away from the home.
- If you have a sump pump, you might consider a backup system that will operate during a power failure.
- Watch for old, cracked, or missing exterior caulking around windows and doors. Maintenance is king!
Although mold loves liquid water, it can also get the water it needs to grow simply from damp, humid environments without the presence of an obvious leak or other water source.
This is where ventilation comes into the picture.
- First and foremost, watch indoor humidity levels. It is a good idea to maintain a relative humidity level of 65% or less.
- Operate dehumidifiers when necessary.
- Be sure bathroom fans and clothes dryer vents are properly vented to the outdoors.
- Maintain good HVAC system operation and repair – especially units with humidifying equipment.
- Some crawl spaces are damp and can be sources of moisture if not properly sealed with a liner system. Some may even require a drainage system which ejects groundwater to the outside.
- Attics should be appropriately vented. Soffit vents should be clear of insulation or other obstructions.
The way houses are built, combined with how we live, moisture often occurs naturally inside the home. Proper ventilation is essential in order to route the humid air outside.
If you’re like me, you might remember Mom saying “If you eat too many sweets, you’re going to get cavities”. Well, water is to mold, like too many sweets can be to cavities!