How to Prevent a Mold Outbreak:
Tips to Keep your Home Safe
Mold is a fungus that grows in damp, humid areas. It can grow on almost anything and thrives in moist environments such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and laundry rooms. Different types of mold have various effects on people, including allergic reactions or infections with the potential to be fatal. Mold needs moisture to grow, so homeowners and caretakers of buildings must take precautions against its growth.
While there are health risks associated with mold exposure, prevention is always the best option because it’s cheaper and will rid the home of invasive surface growth. This article will discuss how you can prevent a mold outbreak by using some simple household items!
What Is Mold?
Molds are fungi that grow in damp, humid areas. It can grow on almost anything and thrives where there’s moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens (especially the bathroom since it has constantly moist air), basements/crawl spaces (with standing water inside of them from leaks), laundry rooms wherein clothes stay wet for long periods before being washed and dried.
How Many Types Of Molds Are There?
Molds are a type of fungus that exist in the environment. There are actually thousands and possibly millions or even billions, but only about 100,000 species have been identified so far! Some common types include black mold (also called Stachybotrys chartarum), greenish-yellow aspergillus, and a fuzzy white type called penicillium.
There are also some types that can be more dangerous, like aspergillus, which is one of the most common molds you find in homes and offices. Still, it’s not usually toxic unless there has been exposure to large amounts of it by people who have an allergy/compromised immune system (according to the Centers for Disease Control).
The CDC also reports that aspergillus is a common cause of asthma and allergies. So, it’s something to take note of if you’re already prone or live with someone who has these conditions!
How Do You Spot Mold?
Now that we have attended to the fundamental questions regarding what mold is, let’s talk about how to spot mold. As has been repeated, mold grows in moist areas and thrives when there is a lot of moisture.
You can find mold on the walls, ceilings, or floors with water damage such as from leaky pipes; humidifiers without proper ventilation causing extensive condensation that leaks onto surfaces below like carpets & upholstery, which then causes mold to grow behind furniture if not treated with fungicide.
You can also find mold behind appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines where there is a lot of standing water. It may look black, greenish-brown, and even blue depending on the type, but it will always have an earthy odor to your nose if you are close enough without any other smells competing with it in the environment.
Dangers Of Allowing Mold Outbreak In Your Home
Mold can be a severe health hazard. While some of these may not be very serious health-wise, many are and can even be fatal. Mold spores are capable of making their way into the body through a number of channels such as inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact.
A mold outbreak can be hazardous for people who already have asthma and allergies because it will trigger symptoms like wheezing & difficulty breathing; redness in eyes from allergic reactions to molds spore release; skin irritation, rash, or dry, itchy patches; and throat swelling.
Mold can also be dangerous to pregnant women because the spores are capable of growing on their unborn babies when they gestate, which is potentially fatal for both mother & child if not caught early enough as well as the risk of miscarriage increases with prolonged exposure during pregnancy due to the toxic effects of mold on fetuses.
Mold is also dangerous to children because it can cause them long-term problems like asthma, sinusitis, and allergies; nausea & vomiting from eating foods grown in a home with high levels of airborne spores that they breathe deep into their lungs during playtime – which for youngsters means hours per day.
People have differing levels of sensitivity to mold. The more sensitive ones should avoid exposure, if possible, by:
- Wearing a dust mask that filters out spores;
- Running the air conditioner or heating system in your home on high during humid periods when levels of humidity can be at their highest, which is usually from May through September;
- Minimizing trips down basement steps where moisture problems may persist for days after dehumidification has been initiated.
Exposure to mold may also lead to neurological disorders, including memory loss and mood swings. In extreme cases, it may even result in kidney failure or death.
So, How Do You Prevent Mold Outbreak In Your Home Or Building?
The most important thing to do is not let mold grow in the first place! Here are some tips:
- Keep your home clean and dry. Clean up any water leaks or spills as soon as they happen.
- Remove any standing water from the house or yard
- Fix leaky pipes, toilets, and appliances as soon as you notice them leaking
- Clean up small spills immediately to prevent mold growth
- Use a dehumidifier in humid areas of the house (e.g., bathrooms) to keep relative humidity below 50%
- Ventilate damp rooms by opening windows for at least 15 minutes each day during warmer months. Use bathroom ventilation fans to remove odors from bathrooms.
- Replace wet carpets with hard floors or wood flooring if possible; if not, use a carpet cleaner designed for high-traffic areas like stairs and hallways. Hardwood floors are less likely to harbor mold spores or encourage moisture buildup beneath them. You can also cover carpets with plastic.
- Reduce indoor humidity levels by using exhaust fans when cooking or showering. Installing an exhaust fan over your stovetop prevents moist air from accumulating inside your kitchen cabinets and drawers; clean out the cabinet under the sink regularly, too – this is where most homeowners store cleaning supplies which can quickly become breeding grounds for mold growth if not properly stored away from dampness and humidity. Run these fans until they are no longer producing steam before shutting them off to avoid mildew buildup on surfaces near the fan blades such as window sills, curtains, furniture, etc.; also, turn on an exhaust fan while sleeping to remove moisture from inside bedrooms where people breathe heavily all night long without realizing it can lead to condensation buildup which can cause mold growth over time; use a dehumidifier overnight if necessary.
- Always air out the house after flooding or during days of high humidity to prevent mold growth from occurring on surfaces such as furniture, wall decorations, and carpeting; also, open windows for 15 minutes a day so that moisture can escape into dryer areas outside-remember it is essential not use heaters indoors when there are already damp surfaces.
- Be sure to clean and dry any wet or damp surfaces immediately in order not only to prevent mold growth, but also for the health of family members who have respiratory issues such as asthma; use a mix with one cup of bleach per gallon of water if there is visible dirt on items which will be washed later-especially important when cleaning bathrooms.
- Dry out wet clothes before putting them away; don’t leave damp towels hanging around for extended periods (especially in humid climates).
- Don’t use bleach to clean moldy areas (except you’re wearing a recommended nose mask and have plans to expel the toxins through proper ventilation) – it can cause a chemical reaction that releases harmful toxins into the air! Instead, mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with 2 cups of water to create a thick paste, then apply it onto the moldy area with a scrub brush or cloth; let sit for 10 minutes before you wipe off with warm water and dry cloths.
- Keep your house at a comfortable temperature and humidity level.
- Ensure there is good airflow around sinks and toilets so that mold doesn’t grow on surfaces near them.
- Seal cracks in the foundation with caulk or foam insulation.
- Check for mold on surfaces, such as windowsills, ceilings, and walls, every week to make sure it doesn’t spread.
Get Expert Help: Mold Remediation
If you think you already have a mold problem in your home (especially if it’s out of your control), contact a mold remediation expert immediately. They will determine the type of mold and how to proceed. It is best if you are not exposed further, as it can be harmful!
When Do You Need Expert Intervention Regarding Mold Outbreak?
If you have a mold outbreak, you know you need expert intervention when the following criteria are met:
You have a mold type that is resistant to common household cleaners; or, it’s not possible for you on your own (or with the help of friends and family) to eliminate all traces. This might not be easy if there isn’t enough time before more spores release into air circulation – meaning they enter other parts of your home.
The mold is not only in one room but has spread to multiple rooms or the entire house; and/or you do have a significant amount of moisture-related problems (elevated humidity levels from flooding due to more than just rainfall) resulting when there’s an excessive accumulation on condensation inside your building walls that can’t escape.
Hopefully, you now know the steps to take to not only protect your home from a mold outbreak but also how and when it’s time for expert intervention.
Many of us try our best at keeping up with regular cleaning chores around the house like washing dishes every day or sweeping regularly; however, there are other things that we might overlook, such as dealing with water leaks or mold.
With the proper steps, it’s possible to not only prevent a potential outbreak of this hazardous material but also eliminate mildew once and for all! With these tips in mind and at work, you can be sure that your home is safe from any unwanted visitors, such as black toxic molds, which are poisonous when inhaled on contact.
Find more information about Greensboro Mold Remediation Inc: