Controlling Moisture Deters Mold Growth
Water leaks, showers, cooking, all these things can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture the air in your home can hold depends upon the temperature. The warmer the air, the more moisture stays in the air. The lower the temperature, the less moisture is in the air.
At any temperature level, moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow, which becomes the perfect habitat for mold growth.
So how do you begin to control moisture in your home? According to the EPA, the following steps can be taken to keep moisture – and subsequently mold – at bay:
Fix leaks and seepage. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing.
Place a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well ventilated.
Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure fans are vented to the outside, and not the attic.
Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates.
Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Insulate storm windows and open doors between rooms to circulate warm air. Using fans and moving furniture away from wall corners can help increase air circulation.
Be careful of carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. Use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often. In some climates it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier over the concrete.
While these tips may help control moisture in your home, it may not guarantee the complete prevention of mold growth. If you do suspect mold, have your home tested, and make sure a professional takes care of remediation safely and properly.