Mold exposure can make your family very sick, and the presence of a mold can weaken the very structure of your home.
Finding mold in your home should be treated like an emergency. However, unlike a lot of emergencies, this is one situation you can actually be prepared for.
Below, Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois shares some of the best life hacks for preventing mold in your home and keeping your family safe.
Best Life Hacks for Mold Prevention
Mold will grow anywhere it finds hospitable conditions. For fungus, this includes three things:
- An organic food source
- Warm temperatures
Technically, mold needs oxygen also, but there are very few places on Earth where that’s not available.
As our homes have become warmer, cozier and more airtight, mold has increasingly become more of an issue. Humans provide everything a mold colony could possibly want inside our homes.
When a leak or flooding occurs, the chances of indoor mold go way up. Mold can appear just 24 hours after a leak or spill. If the leak or spill got through your carpet or under your molding, mold can grow in a hidden area for a long time before it’s discovered.
The following life hacks are so easy, you won’t have any problem incorporating them into your life. We guarantee that you’ll thank yourself time and again for taking these basic precautions to avoid a mold emergency in your home!
Inspect Your Roof and Plumbing
Knowing where your home’s most vulnerable areas are for leaks is life hack #1 for preventing mold.
Water leaks are the main reason for household mold, and the roof and plumbing are the two areas where leaks are most likely to happen. Therefore, you have to keep a vigilant eye on these to avoid a mold problem.
Something that starts out as a small, unnoticeable drip can lead to a water and mold issue that causes thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home, so you need to keep an active check on your roof and plumbing to avoid such damages.
Call a professional to do these inspections if you don’t feel qualified to do them on your own. The cost of inspections is more affordable and predictable than major home repairs due to mold.
Add a Dehumidifier to Your Home
This is possibly the easiest life hack to follow. Just purchase, plug in, and forget about it! You will only need to change the filter from time to time, and your dehumidifier will keep the moisture content in your home low enough that mold cannot easily find a place to grow.
The humidity in your home should be between 30 and 50% to reduce the chance of mold. You can test your home using a hydrometer.
We suggest putting a dehumidifier in any room that has excess moisture: the bathroom, basement, and kitchen, for example. However, many people sleep better with a dehumidifier in the bedroom as well.
Dehumidifiers come in a range of sizes, so make sure that the one you choose is capable of handling the square footage of the room.
Have a Home Inspection Done
This life hack is specifically for people who are looking to buy or rent a home. An inspection will reveal flooding and leak issues that have affected the home in the past, but it will also report potential issues for the future.
You can either proceed with your purchase or rental agreement knowing full well the issues that you may face, or you can make the decision to keep looking for a home that doesn’t carry the same risks.
Homes in a flood zone, for example, are at a major risk of flooding — and subsequent mold. You are opening yourself up to major mold exposure risks buying a home that is located in an area known for flooding.
Ensure that the sump pump, plumbing, and drainage system are in good condition, as these are some of the most common reasons for internal flooding.
It’s easy to put off today what you can do tomorrow. Before you know it, you’ve procrastinated yourself straight into a mold emergency.
Being a little lazy when it comes to mold can not only make you and your family sick, but it can also leave you with a major mold problem.
Symptoms of mold exposure include sneezing, coughing, headaches, and other allergy-like symptoms in most people, but for certain groups (immunocompromised, infants, elderly, and those with respiratory conditions) mold can be deadly.
Mold feeds on organic materials. Since wood is one of the main organic building materials in a home, this has major implications for the skeleton of your home. As a mold colony eats away at the studs and floor joists of your home, they become more unstable.
Mold can appear within 24-48 hours after a leak or spill, so you have to act fast when a leak happens. If you suspect mold for any reason, call a mold company right away. They can test for mold and ensure that the humidity level in your home is normal after flooding or leaks.
Throw Out Moldy Food
Speaking of acting fast, here’s another life hack along the same lines.
The mold that grows on old food in your fridge is the same mold that can grow anywhere else in your home. It can easily spread throughout your home as you open and close the fridge, which happens multiple times a day.
Keeping your fridge cleaned out is also a great grocery hack because you always know what’s available and what you need, so you don’t waste money or run out of ingredients.
Mold Life Hacks for a Healthier Home
There are a lot of so-called “life hacks” out there that just don’t make sense. They are time consuming and convoluted, not really saving you time, money, or stress.
But the life hacks to prevent mold that we’ve presented above are just the opposite. Not only are they easy and affordable, but they have the potential to save you from an expensive, stressful mold emergency.