How Do I Control Moisture to Prevent Mold from Growing?
Here are some tips for controlling moisture indoors where mold is a problem:
- Maintain humidity levels at 30-50%:
Controlling humidity levels will greatly reduce the presence of mold, as well as dust mites and other microbes.Humidity levels can be measured with a simple tool called a hygrometer, which can be purchased at home improvement warehouses and hardware stores.Besides weather in the southern part of the U.S., humidity can be caused by dishwashers, especially the heated drying cycle.Another common source of humidity is trapped bathroom steam from showers, and the escaping air from the clothes dryer.By checking the humidity with a hygrometer, one can know when steps to reduce moisture are required.
- Reduce the moisture in the air:
Air conditioners and humidifiers are both excellent ways to reduce moisture in the air if proper ventilation is not possible.In addition, in the case of humid weather, when ventilation will not make must of a difference, running the air conditioner or humidifier will help greatly.Mold will begin to grow rapidly as the humidity reaches 50%, and especially so during the summer months, so check the levels often with a hygrometer.Be sure to have your air conditioner or humidifier cleaned each year before use, as a dirty filter can make mold and allergies much worse by exposing your home or business to even more mold spores.
- Keep air flowing:
Ventilation, when possible, is the best defense against mold. Whether there has been a previous infestation of mold or not, it will continue to grow wherever there is a lack of proper air flow.Increase ventilation by leaving doors between rooms and closets open.Make sure the clothes dryer is vented to the outside, and that there are no leaks in the ventilation hosing. A very important place to monitor ventilation is in the bathroom.Most will have a small window for air flow, but that is not always enough. Frequently use the vent fan, and in the absence of one, use a portable fan to clear out steam after showers and baths.Doing so will greatly reduce the chance of mold on the walls and shower doors and curtains.
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Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team