Mold. We’ve all experienced it! Whether on your leftovers in the fridge, in the caulk around your bathroom, or in your window wells — mold is never a welcome sight. During the Idaho summer time, many of us close our windows, lower the shades, and run the air conditioning . Unfortunately, doing this can reduce air flow in and out of the house and can promote unwelcome mold growth. Mold and mildew can grow on a number of surfaces in your home such as wood, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, carpets, and drywall.
Moldy windows, bathrooms, or cupboards aren’t just unpleasant to look at. Having mold growing in your home can also cause some major health issues. Respiratory issues, headaches, and irritation in the eyes and nose are just a few of the side effects that you can experience.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can use this summer to prevent mold growth in your home.
1. Keep your bathroom dry.
Condensation and high humidity is to be expected in the bathroom! It’s the one area in your home where standing water is always present (in the toilet bowl and tank). Running a shower or a bath also contributes to high humidity levels. If you have a built in bathroom fan, run it during and after your shower to help bring down the humidity levels. Even better, if your bathroom has a window, crack it open for an hour or two after you run the shower to help dry out some of the residual moisture in the air. Wipe up any visual condensation from your shower or tub, as well. If the air flow is low enough in your bathroom, you might even need to wipe down the inside of the bathroom walls to help dry them off and prevent them from staying damp for too long.
If you don’t have a window or an exhaust fan in your bathroom, consider running a standing floor fan in your bathroom for a couple hours after you shower or bathe. In general, promoting good air flow and wiping down any wet or damp surfaces is the key to preventing bathroom mold.
2. Promote good air flow around your home.
Many homeowners would be surprised to find mold growing in the kitchen cupboards or on a bedroom window sill. However, humidity can settle anywhere in your home! For example, your kitchen is typically the second most humid area of your home, after the bathroom. Just think about the steam you create when you wash your dishes in hot water, or when you run the dishwasher! Cooking food on the stovetop or in the microwave can also produce a lot of steam and moisture. Without good ventilation and airflow to move that humidity around, condensation can easily form on surfaces around the kitchen. This might include the inside of your cabinets or in your window wells. Since dark damp areas are a perfect breeding ground for mold, unchecked humidity in these spaces can quickly lead to mold.
Using a ceiling fan or a floor fan to keep air moving in your home can help disperse this humidity more evenly throughout your house! This can also help prevent too much moisture from building up in one place, preventing mildew. Moving humidity throughout your house this way can also reduce your need for a humidifier! If the other rooms in your house get too dry for comfort in the summertime, dispersing the natural humidity you create in the kitchen or the bathroom can help.
3. Stay aware of your humidity level.
Too much humidity in one place leads to moisture, which of course can lead to mildew, which can then lead to mold. Ideally, you want to make sure the humidity level in your home stays below 40 percent. With how dry and hot Idaho gets, you might assume that the air in your home is always dry. As we pointed out earlier, though, there are a lot of things you do in your every day life that create moisture in your home. Some of these might not even be things you think generate humidity, such as cooking and cleaning! If you use a humidifier during the hot summer months, as many people do, try to make sure it doesn’t produce an excessive amount of humidity. Make sure you only use it in rooms that don’t already get a lot of moisture, and ensure the room has appropriate ventilation and airflow.
If your home has a basement that tends to collect a lot of moisture, you might consider getting a dehumidifier. The cold basement floor and walls, especially in the summer, can be a place where humidity in the air settles and builds-up. Dehumidifiers control humidity levels and make it harder for mold to grow.
If you do happen to discover any potential problem areas of mold or mildew in your home, don’t hesitate to call us at Elite Restoration! We’ll not only get rid of the visible mold in your home, but we’ll also determine the underlying cause of it as well. This will prevent it from coming back in the future, so you can enjoy the summer months from the comfort of your cozy – and mold-free – home!