Mold spores can be frustrating to homeowners, renters, and investment property buyers. From potential health issues to property damage, mold is often one of the most overlooked pain points for any property. Here is a list of tips and tricks to help reduce exposure and minimize growth inside your home and property. Some are common sense, some are things we all overlook. Whether you’re sensitive to mold spores and want to protect your health, or you simply want to protect your home or investment, check out the list I compiled below!
- Avoid outdoor places where mold is likely to be in high concentration. These include shady areas, compost piles, kennels, and piles of leaves, grass, or straw.
- Promptly repair and seal leaky pipes and roofs.
- Have the yard mowed and raked regularly.
- Keep rain gutters clean. Clear leaves and debris from drainage areas around your home and yard.
- Store firewood away from the house.
- Cleaning your house regularly and properly can help reduce mold.
- Clean with a commercial anti mold product. Choose a product containing a mixture of bleach and detergent or make your own anti mold cleaner. Mix 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach and 1 quart of water.
- Clean carefully, especially in areas where mold is likely to grow, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
- Empty refrigerator drip pans and thoroughly clean them with a commercial anti mold product.
- Keep garbage cans and trash compactors clean and free of mildew.
- Store things carefully. Don’t store newspaper, clothes, and other items in damp areas because they can become moldy. Store only completely clean and dry clothing and shoes. Even small amounts of grime can stimulate mold growth.
- Throw away any moldy foods lurking in your refrigerator and cupboards.
- Use a fan in the bathroom to remove damp air. If you don’t have a fan, open a window and consider having a fan installed. In bathrooms without windows, open a door when you’re finished, and consider using a dehumidifier.
- Use a dehumidifier to dry out a damp basement, but be sure to empty the water from it and clean it regularly. Water left in dehumidifiers allows mold to grow.
- Don’t use humidifiers or vaporizers. Putting extra moisture into the air encourages mold growth. If you choose to use these appliances, follow the manufacturer’s instructions about regular cleaning. Even special humidifiers designed to lessen mold growth require regular and thorough cleaning.
- Ventilate closed rooms by opening doors and installing fans.
- Avoid sleeping in areas of the house that are below ground level.
- Don’t put carpeting directly on concrete or damp floors. The carpet may become moldy.
- When painting damp areas, choose mold-inhibiting paints. They can be found at most paint stores.
- Remove all carpets and wallpaper with visible mold or mildew.
- Don’t over-water plants. A few household plants probably will not cause problems if you’re mold-sensitive, but standing water promotes mold growth.
- Keep windows sealed tightly. You may need to replace weather stripping on older windows.
- Eliminate dark areas. Most mold needs darkness to grow. In the basement or in closets that tend to be damp, install a light on a timer. Add windows or skylights to dark rooms.
(Editor’s Note: These are merely suggestions and what has worked for me in the past. Results may vary.)