If you’re living in a region with hot, humid summers, you’ve most likely seen it: black, white, green, brown, or orange specks of mold on damp surfaces in your home.
Not only does it look gross, but it can also send out invisible mold spores into the air, causing allergies, infections, and other respiratory health problems. According to the CDC, minor symptoms of mold exposure include a stuffy nose, wheezing, and red/itchy eyes or skin. People with allergies or asthma might experience more severe symptoms. And for people exposed to large amounts of mold (and/or people who experience extensive exposure), it can lead to fever and shortness of breath.
Mold can be sneaky and may grow undetected for months or even years until it has become quite a mess.
Mold thrives in warm, damp areas such as bathrooms, basements, kitchens, ceilings or walls with leaks, and even in your HVAC system. In short, it can grow just about anywhere with moisture.
If you want to keep your home mold-free, follow these tips to keep the situation under control.
Avoiding At-Home Mold in 7 Steps
Tip #1: Keep the humidity in your home low.
Check the humidity in your home every day by using a hygrometer. You can find this instrument in home improvement shops, and it basically acts as an indoor thermometer and humidity monitor.
If humidity levels are higher than ideal, you can use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to lower them. Damp areas such as the basement will benefit from a dehumidifier because it removes moisture from the air. Similarly, running an air conditioner, especially during the summer, can help to eliminate moisture.
Keep in mind that you should keep your windows closed if it’s damp outside and you’re using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
Tip #2: Ensure optimum airflow in your home.
Air should flow freely in your home. By using exhaust fans, you can send out moist air that may cause mold and ensure proper air circulation.
We recommend that you install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms. However, if you don’t have exhaust fans, you might want to open a window while cooking or taking a bath. You should also check if your clothes dryer releases air outdoors, or you can opt to dry your clothes on a clothesline outside.
Tip #3: Fix leaks in your home.
Be mindful of leaks in your roof, walls, or plumbing so there won’t be excess moisture that mold can grow on. If you spot leaks, have them repaired right away even if they’re seemingly minor issues. A small problem can turn into a huge — and expensive — mess to clean up.
Tip #4: Keep your home clean, and dry it out quickly if it has been flooded.
Make it a habit to clean your home regularly and wipe down the moist surfaces of areas like the bathrooms and kitchen. Use water-based, non-aerosol cleaners instead of strong cleaning products with toxic chemicals to avoid replacing one contaminant with another.
Also, if your basement has been flooded, clean it up and dry out your home quickly — within 24 to 48 hours — so mold doesn’t get the chance to settle.
Tip #5: Don’t finish the walls of your basement unless it’s dry.
Avoid using insulation or drywall unless the area is very dry. It’s also not recommended to put wall-to-wall carpet on your basement floor, just as it’s not advisable to use carpeting in areas that have too much moisture, such as the bathroom.
You can lay down rugs, but make sure that you replace them as needed, clean them thoroughly, and dry them completely.
Tip #6: Use an air purifier with a HEPA 13 filter.
An air purifier is one of the most effective preventative measures against mold, especially if you opt for one with a medical-grade HEPA 13 filter. This filter is capable of purifying the air by trapping mold spores, dust, and other contaminants that are floating freely in the air but are invisible to the naked eye.
Sans’ air purifier effectively improves indoor air quality with its three-stage filtration system and UV-C light sterilization. First, air passes through the pre-filter, which captures relatively larger particulate matter, such as dust and pet dander. Then, it goes through the HEPA 13 filter, which is recommended by the U.S. Department of Health because it can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency. This means that it can even capture viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.
Next, there’s the activated carbon filter, which neutralizes harmful chemicals in the air that come in the form of gases. Finally, the UV-C light ensures that the microorganisms trapped by the filters won’t grow back and make you sick.
With these four layers of protection, the Sans air purifier is the #1 choice for keeping your home a healthy and safe space to live, no matter how much dust, mold, pet hair, or chemicals you might be fighting.
Always remember that prevention is better than cure. The best way to fight mold is to stop it from ever happening in the first place. Although it might look harmless, mold can pose serious health risks, especially for those with allergies and respiratory conditions.
If you want to maintain a healthy home environment with excellent indoor air quality, follow these best practices, and shop with Sans today.
If you liked this blog, you might be interested in learning more about how to soothe at-home allergies.