Healthy Home Improvement Tips: Reducing Mold Growth
Mold growth in the home can have many negative implications for your health. If you have allergies or respiratory conditions, it can make breathing more difficult and produce unpleasant symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes. Even if you do not suffer from these issues, you can still experience irritation as it will decrease indoor air quality. While it is not possible to completely eliminate mold spores from your home, there are some simple tips to keep growth at bay and reduce its negative health effects.
Keep Humidity Low
Lower humidity levels in your house will discourage mold growth. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends levels between 30 and 60 percent. You can purchase an inexpensive moisture meter from a local hardware store. Seal any air leaks or air duct leaks. If you have a crawlspace, cover the dirt floor with plastic to keep excess moisture from seeping into your home. Make sure your air conditioner drip pads are clean and keep drain lines clear and flowing properly. Signs of excess humidity in your home include condensation on the windows, walls and pipes.
Check Your Roof
If you have any leaks in your roof, get them fixed. Gutters that are clogged or damaged in some way will cause excess water to seep into your home. Check them and repair if necessary. After storms, look for water stains which can indicate signs of leakage.
Improve Air Flow
Maximizing air flow in your house will reduce moisture build up and keep your house fresh and dry. Colder temperatures cause the air to hold less moisture and it can end up on your walls and elsewhere in your house when the weather is cooler. Keep doors open, place furniture away from walls and if closets are cooler than the room they are located in, open them to let the warmer air in. Open your windows as much as possible.
Keep Your House Properly Ventilated
Make sure rooms that produce a lot of moisture, such as the bathroom, are well-ventilated. Any vents from household appliances should be directed outside, not into the attic. Something as simple as opening a window while taking a shower or cooking can go a long way.
Protect Houseplants from Mold
The damp soil in your potted plants is a easy breeding ground for mold that can spread to other parts of your house. A natural way to prevent mold growth is to mix in some Taheebo tea with the water you use for your plants. The oil from this tree is strong enough to withstand the growth of fungus in even the rainforest and can be found at natural health food stores or online.
Have Heating and Air Conditioning Units Checked
Call in a contractor to inspect your heating and cooling units. He can ensure they are sized properly and are working efficiently to remove humidity in your home. Systems that are too big or that are not directing airflow properly could contribute to mold growth in your home.