How to Prevent Mold in Your House: The Ultimate Guide
What Is the Purpose of This Guide?
How to Prevent Mold in Your House: The Ultimate Guide is an easy-to-follow guide for beginners that explains what mold is and what causes it to grow so that you can better understand how you can prevent mold and mildew from invading your home. And the sooner you start protecting your home from the effects of these harmful fungi, the sooner you can ensure good health for you and your family.
Who Is This Guide Intended For?
This guide has been written for anyone owning, renting or selling a house. Whether you’re the occupant or a good landlord, knowing what causes mold and how to prevent it will save you a lot of time and money from potential remodelling you would have to do later.
To all moms, dads, students, landlords and maid services, this is the guide you have been searching for. We have put in over a decade’s worth of knowledge about mold and related indoor air quality issues and created the ultimate guide for mold prevention.
How to Use This Guide
Our mold prevention guide starts with basic information, such as what mold is and what causes it. It then moves on to specific parts of your home that you need to take special care of because of their susceptibility to mold contamination. We strongly recommend that you start with the basics (Chapters 1 and 2), after which, you can either continue chapter by chapter or, if you are too busy, skip ahead to specific sections.
We strive to keep the information up to date, so make sure you check back from time to time for the latest news and updates.
Chapter 1 What is mold and how does mold grow?
In order to prevent mold from taking over your home, you have to understand what mold is and what causes its growth in the first place. Only then will you understand which actions prevent mold and which may actually help it grow.
Do not skim through the first chapter as it provides the basis for every chapter that follows. You can always explore different types of mold, but the causes listed here are the ones you actually have to worry about in most cases.
Chapter 2 How to prevent mold in a house
Mold is a part of any ecosystem, and it can be found in both indoor and outdoor air at any given moment. With that in mind, you should be aware that you cannot create a 100% mold-free environment. But what you can do is ensure that the concentration of mold spores in your indoor air remains minimal. This decreases the chances of it actually multiplying and growing.
In this chapter, you will learn about the most common spots inside a house that mold and mildew tends to grow and what you can do to prevent it from growing there.
Chapter 3 How to prevent mold in bathroom
Even though mold can grow practically anywhere, there are three areas of your home that are the most common spots for mold growth. One of them is the bathroom.
Bathrooms tend to be very humid, and moisture is one of the main requirements for mold to grow. As such, if you want to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom, you have to pay close attention to and limit moisture in your shower and/or bathtub, sink and even towels.
Chapter 4 How to prevent mold in the bedroom
Of all the rooms in your home, you spend the most time in your bedroom…sleeping. For this reason, it is critical to keep mold out of your bedroom and ensure healthy air quality.
In a best-case scenario, your bedroom will be the room with the least furniture, leaving enough open space for air to flow. But in case it is not, consider re-thinking the purpose and functionality of all the things you keep there.
Chapter 5 How to prevent mold in the kitchen
Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is also often the target of mold attacks. Of course, you don’t want mold anywhere near your food. Learning and understanding how to prevent mold in your kitchen will bring you a step closer to having a healthy life and a happy home.
From how cooking causes mold growth to all the secret places you need to check, this chapter is definitely something you wouldn’t want to skip.
Chapter 6 How to prevent mold in the basement
If you don’t have a basement in your house, you are in luck – this is one chapter you can freely skip. But in case you do have a basement or any type of similar storage room in your building, then we strongly recommend you go through this part thoroughly.
Mold loves dark and moist places and your basement can provide both. With that in mind, it’s clear that you will have to do some extra work to ensure your basement is mold free, but it is not an impossible job for sure.
Bonus Chapter Is it time for professional mold testing?
Each time you clean your house you should pay attention to common mold places such as walls and windows. In case you notice mold, or you are not sure if it is mold or mildew, there are a few steps you can do to stop it from spreading and invading your whole house.
Practical Mold Prevention Tips
Homeowners, landlords and even tenants all want to know the secret to preventing mold indoors — who wouldn’t?
Mold, especially the toxic kind, can compromise a building’s structural integrity and threaten the health of its occupants. That said, mold prevention is key.
There are three main ways to prevent mold:
- Limiting moisture indoors
- Properly ventilating your home and ensuring sufficient air flow
- Cleaning on a regular basis
Prevent mold by eliminating excess moisture
Controlling moisture in your home is essential. This means finding and fixing any sources of moisture, be it broken pipes, leaking toilets, cracked foundation or high humidity.
Relative humidity (RH) is a measure of the amount of moisture in the air relative to the maximum amount the air can hold at that temperature.
In a healthy home, relative humidity should be between 30% and 50%. Any higher and you probably have a moisture problem, not to mention, a mold problem.
Tips for controlling moisture
There are several things you can do every day to reduce moisture, prevent mold and improve indoor air quality:
- Maintain indoor humidity levels (RH) between 30% and 50%.
- Use dehumidifiers (or reduce your use of humidifiers).
- Promptly repair leaky roofs, pipes, soffits and eavestroughs.
- Position downspouts so that they drain away from the house.
- Have any water damage attended to immediately by a professional.
- Ensure that all kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are clean and that they vent directly outside the home.
- Clean carpets and furniture regularly. Better yet, remove moisture-trapping carpets and wallpaper from humid areas such as basements, bathrooms and kitchens.
- Add mold inhibitors to paint or buy anti-fungal paint.
- Ensure a properly functioning ventilation system and sufficient air flow to minimize moisture.
How air exchange and regular cleaning prevent mold
Indoor air contains a high concentration of contaminants, so it’s necessary you work to keep a sufficient air exchange rate with the outdoors.
An efficient ventilation system will reduce the concentration of contaminants and ensure a healthier, mold-free indoor environment for you, your family and guests.
In addition, getting rid of dirt, debris and other sediment and ensuring a clean home can significantly reduce your chances of developing a mold problem.
By cleaning regularly, you’re also more likely to notice signs of mold growth such as wall discoloration, black spots and water stains (see more below).
Common signs of mold
If you can, try to catch mold problems in their earliest stages by watching for the following signs:
- Black spots on walls
- Musty, earthy odours
- Water stains
- Discolouration of walls, floors or ceilings
- Peeling, bubbling, or cracking of paint or wallpaper
- Condensation on windows, walls or pipes
If you need additional information and practical tips related to mold and how to prevent it, call the experts at Mold Busters. For nearly ten years, we’ve helped residential and commercial property owners across Ottawa and Montreal effectively fight mold.