No one likes to think of their home as unsafe. If there was a broken window, you’d get a new pane of glass for it, if there was a creaky floorboard, you’d fix it, so why don’t you feel the same way about mold and mildew?
It’s a sad fact that moldy and mildewy houses just aren’t seen to be as problematic as they ought to be, and it should be a cause for concern.
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What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that can grow just about anywhere. When it seeps into your home (whether it be because of roof leaks or condensation on windows), it could cause allergic reactions in some people, which are the most common adverse health effect.
The most common sources of mold are high humidity environments, building construction materials, and water damage, which is why the first thing you want to do is check for any leaks.
What Is Mildew?
Mildew is exactly the same thing as mold, but it is a particular type of fungus that can grow on clothes, food, and other organic substances.
It’s not usually dangerous to someone’s health, but it can be quite unsightly and embarrassing if you open a closet for a guest and the wall is covered in black spots!
Are Mold and Mildew Dangerous?
For most people, mold spores aren’t usually dangerous. The only real health problems they cause are in people with pre-existing health conditions, such as asthma or allergies.
This is why it’s imperative that you make sure you know whether or not your guests are allergic to mold before inviting them over to visit.
Mildew can be dangerous if it gets into the lungs of babies and young children, but apart from that, it’s not an urgent problem.
Preventing Mold and Mildew
Preventing mold and mildew is easy, and there are a few things you can do to help combat it. Here are a few tips:
Fix Your Leaky Roof
Check for any leaks in your roof. If you have a leak in your roof, there’s going to be condensation on the inside of the wall. So, the first thing you should do is check for condensation on your walls to see if they’re leaking out.
Get Your HVAC Serviced
If you have a forced-air HVAC system, make sure you book in a HVAC service regularly. It might not always seem like something you should be concerned about, but sometimes dryer vents get clogged up with lint, which could cause mold to grow in them.
Air circulating around your home should be clean, and you need to make sure that your HVAC system is working properly to keep your air quality as clean as possible.
Dry Clothes Outside
If you live in a warmer climate, such as Florida, make sure you wash all of your clothes and dry them on a line outside if possible, and don’t use dryer sheets.
Drying clothes indoors created a lot of moisture, and this moisture will collect on your walls and drip down onto your furniture.
If you have a lot of moisture in your house, it provides the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. So if you haven’t got a drying machine, try to dry all of your laundry outdoors.
Clean Your Bathroom Regularly
A lot of bathrooms get wet because they get steamy from showers, so dry out any damp areas right after you shower or bathe. If you have a shower curtain that allows moisture to build up underneath it, buy a new one!
If any towels look moldy or smell bad even after a few washes, throw them away. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this will make.
Try to keep your bathroom clean in general, because if you have mold in your bathroom, it’s only going to get worse when the humidity in the room is high.
Open Windows Regularly
Open your windows once or twice a week. This helps to minimize condensation and grime buildup in your home. Opening your windows also helps to get rid of any mold spores that are floating around the air.
Good air circulation is a good way to prevent mold and mildew from getting deep into your home.
Practice Good Hygiene Habits
It might seem like obvious advice but remember to always wipe down surfaces when you’re done using them, and if something smells funny, throw it in the trash!
You want to keep anything that’s leftover in the house fresh and clean. Don’t leave food out until the next day.
If you have a lot of pets, keep your house very clean and try to keep all of the pet hair out of your home. If you’re a smoker, don’t smoke around your house, and let the smoke go outside.
Properly Clean Your Home on a Regular Basis
It might sound like common sense but if you do not clean your home regularly, mold and mildew will start to grow very quickly.
Mold spores will multiply rapidly if they have any water or food source available to them. This means it’s important to make sure you clean your home regularly and make sure no food is left lying around.
Try to throw out all moldy foods and dispose of any clutter that may be sitting in your home for a long time. This will help keep mold and mildew at bay!
Cleaning Mold and Mildew
To start cleaning mold or mildew, you’ll need to identify where it is. This sounds obvious but you might not realize that the mold or mildew is affecting areas of your home that you didn’t even know. Here are a few ideas:
- Put on a mask and gloves
- Investigate your home for any signs of mold and mildew.
- Check particularly damp areas, such as basements (they can stay wet and humid even in dry weather).
- Check inside your shower curtain for any discoloration or mold growth.