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How to Prevent Mold and Mildew

May 7, 2018
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Mold and mildew are formidable foes for any homeowner, and even home dwellers. It can be especially tricky for those of us living in warm, humid climates where a stray leak may not ordinarily be detected. Make sure to put these practices into place to prevent mildew and mold growth to keep your home and your loved ones safe.

Ventilate the bathroom

Your bathroom produces and retains more moisture than any other room in the house. And unlike an open area like the kitchen, the doors and windows of the bathroom usually stay shut for privacy. After showering, turn on the fan and open the window. If there’s no fan (or no window), open the bathroom door and open the nearest window until the bathroom mirror has defogged.

Measure the humidity

If you live in dry climate and use a humidifier, keep an eye on it. The humidity level should never exceed 60 percent. For the rest of us living through the four seasons, you can buy a cheap hygrometer (a humidity thermometer) for under $15. If your humidity levels are still off the charts, consider investing in a dehumidifier to keep your home mold-free.

Insulate your pipes

Pipes are prone to forming condensation on their exteriors and or even bursting when the weather gets cold. Adding extra insulation to these areas is an excellent safeguard to keep moisture from spreading to the rest of the house.

Fix and prevent leaks

Leaks — even the small, quiet ones — are the number-one cause for mold in the home. In addition to finding and fixing small leaks, consider going the extra mile to prevent future leaks and invest in a leak detection device like Flo. It does all the heavy lifting for you, including 24/7 monitoring and daily diagnostic leak tests. It can save you thousands of dollars in water damage and prevent potentially dangerous mold conditions at home.

Keep your house clean

Water wants places to go and things to mix with. That’s why it’s important regularly dust, vacuum, mop, and remove any extra dirt, debris and moisture in the home. “Swirling miasma of goo” is definitely not a term that should apply to your home. You might not be able to see mold spores, but you can absolutely get rid of them. Clean!

Let linens dry

Don’t put your towels or clothes away damp. Dry them completely, preferably outside or in the warm confines of your dryer. Additionally, keep your rugs and carpets dry. If there’s wall-to-wall carpet and it’s feeling damp underfoot — investigate! You may already have a problem.

Keep it bright and sunny

There are many reasons why basements are vulnerable to mold and mildew, and one of them is their lack of light. Sunlight not only heats up a space, it also kills bacteria and mold. If you’re on the ground floor or higher and your home is getting a little muggy inside, open up the shades and let the sun in.

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