Mold is responsible for causing allergy-like symptoms in healthy adults, but for a lot of people, exposure to mold can put their health in serious jeopardy. Not to mention that mold destroys any organic material it feeds on, including carpet, wood, and paper.
Preventing and removing mold are dreaded tasks for any homeowner, but most of us are willing to go to great lengths to keep it out of our homes. Most of the tips you’ll get about mold prevention involve controlling the environment in your home…discouraging mold by making your home less hospitable.
In this article, PMCI takes that theory one step further by sharing some design ideas for your kitchen that will deter mold growth in one of the most mold-prone areas of your home: the kitchen.
Tips for a Mold-Proof, Dream Kitchen
No home, no kitchen is mold-proof. Wherever there is a moisture and food source, mold can grow. Our homes are within the ideal temperature for virtually every species of mold, making modern homes a veritable breeding ground for mold colonies.
However, construction and design choices that you make while building or remodeling your kitchen can reduce the chance of mold in your home. Additionally, these tips will also keep your kitchen cleaner and smelling fresher as well!
Ensure Everything is Well Sealed
Steam and water from cooking are two sources of moisture that make the kitchen one of the most common areas of the home to find mold.
Using sealant around your sink, backsplash and in the corners where countertops meet will ensure that moisture can’t get into these small crevices. Of course, the quality of the workmanship when these sealants are applied matters.
Check around the sink, between tiles, and your backsplash often, where leaks are likely to appear.
Paint quality and function is far more important than color (although that’s the fun part!). Choosing a high quality paint will cost a little more, but, as with most things when building or remodeling a home, it will prove much better in the long run.
Mold-resistant paints and primers are a good idea for any room in your home with excess moisture.
These paints and primers prevent fungus from growing on the walls because they are fortified with anti-microbial properties that kill fungus. They are also water resistant, further discouraging mold from growing on your kitchen walls.
Mold-Resistant Building Materials
Some building materials are naturally more mold resistant. Like mold-resistant paint, you’ll pay more for these materials upfront, but they can save you a lot of money in mold removal and repairs in the future.
One such material is quartz. It’s a popular kitchen and bathroom countertop option because it is more hygienic than other materials. It doesn’t have to be sealed in or to become water resistant since its particles are so tightly packed.
Greenboard is another mold-resistant building option. These wallboards are used in place of drywall in areas where moisture is high. In fact, greenboard is a popular option for hospitals, gyms and public restrooms due to its water and mold resistant qualities.
A final step you can take with your building materials is to apply an anti-fungal spray to insulation and wood.
Your kitchen is the 3rd most common area of the home to find excess moisture and mold (coming in just behind the bathroom and basement).
A good ventilation system will rid your kitchen of cooking odors, steam, and excess moisture from spills and hand washing. Use your ventilation system every time you cook, when running the dishwasher, or even when boiling water.
Modern home ventilation can be very stylish, so you don’t have to worry about an ultra-industrial look with a high-powered ventilation system — unless that’s the look you’re going for.
Fixtures & Appliances
Controlling moisture in the kitchen is the key to preventing mold. Your fixtures and appliances need to be in good working order to avoid leaks, but there are a few more steps you can take to decrease moisture in the kitchen.
As much as you may love your ice and water dispenser, replacing your fridge with one that does not have water and ice in the door can really cut down on unwanted moisture.
It may be time to replace your dishwasher with one that doesn’t release as much steam.
Look into sinks that are fused into the countertop to avoid mold and mildew around the sink and caulking.
Bigger isn’t always better. A large trash can sit for days before needing to be emptied. While this may be convenient for you, it can lead to mold throughout the kitchen (and even in other areas of your home).
A trash can that only holds about one day’s worth of trash will prevent odors and rotting food that mold can feed on.
Kitchen Design Isn’t the Only Mold Solution!
No matter how many steps you take to prevent mold in your kitchen design, there’s no way to completely prevent mold in your home without regular cleaning and maintenance.
Mold is present in indoor and outdoor environments nearly everywhere you go. Once inside your home, it simply settles in the area that is most favorable for its growth.
To combat mold on a daily basis, clean your kitchen regularly with products formulated for the kitchen and bath in order to eliminate mold. You can also make your own mold removal cleaners with bleach, borax, vinegar, ammonia, peroxide, baking soda or tea tree oil.
You should also have your home tested for mold regularly by the professionals from Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois to make sure there are no hidden sources of mold that can spread to other parts of your home. We proudly serve Champaign, IL and surrounding areas using innovative methods and safe solutions for your home and family.