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What can you do to prevent mold from making a reappearance?
There are few activities that are more satisfying for a homeowner than fixing a problem with the home. Unfortunately mold is one of those problems that has a hard time “staying” fixed! In order to prevent mold from coming back, it is essential to tackle the root cause of the mold growth and make your home a hostile environment for fungus, which will stop it from taking hold again.
As mold thrives on moisture and needs a water source in order to develop, making sure that your home is dry and moisture-free is point one on your mold prevention checklist. First of all, check for leaks – and be thorough. Roofing, inner walls with piping, window frames, and plumbing all have the potential to spout leaks. Be vigilant and take the time to closely inspect all of the at-risk areas. This inspection should be regular, so that if you happen to identify a water leakage, you’ll be able to deal with it before mold has time to develop.
Pro Tip: When searching for moisture there are some great tools available for you. Most big box stores sell handheld moisture detection devices that are simple and easy to use around $30 to $50. Another great way to check the home for moisture is asking a local restoration company to provide you with a home inspection and explain you think you have a moisture problem. Most of the time they will come out and complete the inspection for free!
Keep your home dry and well-ventilated at all times. Even something as simple as leaving the windows open every day is effective, as it allows air to circulate through your home and naturally dry out any damp areas. As they are routinely drenched in water, bathrooms are often a mold hotspot. Install a bathroom fan that provides good ventilation. See How To Prevent Mold In a Bathroom.
Humidity is often a major factor in the development of mold. Try to keep humidity in your home between 30 and 50 percent. If this is difficult, a dehumidifier will help to lower the level, but it must be cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure that it doesn’t start creating moisture itself.
On a smaller scale, it is important to dry wet clothes, carpets, and surfaces properly in a well-ventilated area. Mold spreads fast, so avoid leaving clothes in the washing machine for long periods of time, and dry any spills (particularly those on textiles) within 24 hours. Check your refrigerator and pantry every few days, and throw out old, perishable food that could develop mold patches.
It is impossible to completely mold-proof a home – those pesky spores will make it in whether you like it or not. However, by following these simple tips it is possible to vastly reduce the likelihood of mold outbreaks.