Not only are mold and mildew icky and a total nuisance, they both grow rapidly and can be troublesome for your indoor air quality. Here are four ways to combat these triggers and limit exposure at home.
Mold and mildew love to move into a warm, cozy, humid house. Use a portable or whole house dehumidifier to maintain a humidity level at home that is below 50 percent. This will help ensure the environment isn’t too moist. As a rule of thumb when mold problems exist, drier air is cleaner air.
Water that sneaks out of faucets or pipes and drips into walls, ceilings or floors is a surefire way to start mold growth. Double check that everything is water tight (free of leaks and condensation) so you don’t have to worry about expensive water damage and a potentially vast mold and mildew issue.
The Environmental Protection Agency says as long as water damage and the moldy area are contained to 10 square feet or less, you can likely handle cleaning it up yourself.* Otherwise—especially if you think mold has found its way into your HVAC unit—hire a pro or a contractor who has experience and can follow the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) regulations.
Note: Never run an HVAC if you suspect it is contaminated as it can spread mold throughout your house or building. For quick clean-ups in bathrooms, scrub showers with asthma-friendly, mold-killing products or bleach, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Tougher hard, non-porous surfaces can be scrubbed with detergent and water.
Damp areas, such as bathrooms, mudrooms, and kitchens are mold targets. Limit carpeting in these areas and use durable bath mats or rugs. It’s important to these get thoroughly cleaned and dried after use.
For these damp areas, run exhaust fans as much as possible to circulate the air. This will help eep the air and surfaces fresher so rooms are not damp, stagnant, mold-growing environments.