If you’re buying a home, undergoing a mold inspection is one way to prevent any nasty surprises before you move in. But what are some things you can do to prevent mold growth in your current home?
First, understand that only three things are needed for mold to grow in your home: food (which is any organic material including paper, cardboard, drywall, wood and carpet), moisture (humid air, water or moist materials after a flood) and warmth – some molds can survive below freezing temperatures and grow when temperatures rise, but temperatures between 20 C and 32 C are perfect for mold growth.
Top 5 tips for keeping your home mold-free
1. Dehumidify. Use dehumidifiers where necessary to help keep humidity under 50%, especially in damp basements. Mold thrives at humidities over 50%, and the ideal humidity for your home is between 30% and 50%.
2. Keep your basement toasty. Because of their proximity to the ground, basements are generally cooler in temperature and experience dampness more than other parts of a home. This combination of cool air and moisture leads to condensation trapped behind walls, which can lead to mold growth. Try to keep your basement above 15 C.
3. Get in the habit of using your fans. After a steamy shower, turn on the bathroom fan to eliminate excess humidity in the bathroom, which promotes mold growth. Similarly, use the vent on your stove when cooking in the kitchen to keep it cool and dry.
4. Check your storage. Invest in plastic bins to store your belongings rather than relying on cardboard boxes, which can become a food source for mold. Consider using plastic or aluminum shelving in garages or basements, as opposed to wooden shelves that are susceptible to moisture.
5. Keep on top of potential mold growth. Annual mold inspections – and having a mold inspection conducted following a flood or leak in your home – can help homeowners catch mold growth before it becomes a more serious and expensive problem.
Contact us today for information on mold prevention and for certified mold inspections in Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, the GTA and Ontario.