Preventing Mold Growth on Surfaces

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| 2012 Jun 11 |
Preventing Mold Growth on Surfaces

Mold can significantly damage a home if steps to either prevent or fix the problem are not taken immediately. This damage can cost you financially and it can cost you your health.

What You Can Do To Prevent Mold and Mildew

Fortunately, mold and mildew growth can be prevented by following these 10 steps:

1. While mold cannot grow on concrete, it can grow on organic matter found on concrete surfaces. It is, therefore, necessary to keep concrete, textiles, floors and walls clean. If the surface is also soiled with grease, use a grease-fighting solution of detergent and water. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is often very effective and it is readily available in most home hardware and paint stores. As with any chemical, you must use gloves when washing with TSP.

2. Textiles must be stored in clean and dry conditions. To prevent mildew growth, you must store textiles in your closet or in a closed container in dry conditions.

3. Humidity inside the home must be kept to a minimum. Humidifiers must be shut down if relative humidity levels are above 50 per cent. While taking a bath or shower and while cooking, use exhaust fans that expel air outside. Wipe shower walls with a sponge. Appliances like clothes dryers and heaters should also vent outside. To reduce relative humidity in the home, fix all leaks (in roofs, pipes, plumbing, etc.) and avoid storing firewood indoors.

Preventing Mold Growth in Ottawa
One way to prevent mold growth is by using exhaust fans in areas of the home that are more humid than others, such as in the kitchen or the bathroom.

4. Use an air purifier or an air filter like the EZ Breathe System to remove mold spores and other particles from indoor air. By doing this, you will also remove odours, reduce moisture and improve overall air quality in your home.

5. The most important step you can take to prevent mold growth in your home is to minimize moisture. A dehumidifier or an air conditioning unit can help you do this, especially if set up in highly humid areas such as basements. Keeping windows open and installing exhaust fans can also help if the air outside is less humid.

6. In specific areas that tend to be damp, try removing any furniture in order to increase air flow and allow the area to dry. Avoid cramping things into small spaces like closets; this tends to reduce the circulation of air and promote the growth of mold. If possible, try installing louvered doors on closets, which can improve air circulation. Also, try not to store laundry in damp places.

7. All textiles must be kept dry. Textiles that are damp must be dried completely before being put into storage. Textiles should be stored under cloth sheets, especially if they’re going to be stored for long periods of time, as plastic sheets prevent ventilation and promote condensation.

8. Seal any cracks in the walls or foundation to prevent moisture intrusion, which leads to mold. In terms of the home’s exterior, make sure that the slope of the earth points downward from the walls of the house to prevent water accumulation at the foundation. Adequate measures should be taken to prevent rainwater from entering the house. Check that windows are properly sealed and that they don’t allow moisture and water into the house.

9. If you notice condensation forming on your indoor walls, check your insulation. Also, installing thermal pane windows can help reduce condensation during the winter months.

10. Ensure proper ventilation in highly humid rooms such as crawlspaces. Installing vapour barriers in crawlspaces can also helps to prevent moisture from the ground from entering the home and causing mold growth.