With rainy and humid winters, its no secret Pacific Northwest homes are susceptible to mold and mildew growth. If left untreated, serious health issues like respiratory or sinus irritation can form from exposure.
Three things you should monitor to protect your home from growing mold:
1). Temperature: Mold thrives in environments between 41°–100° Fahrenheit.
2). Moisture: Our wet winters and drawn out, rainy spring can bring mold as well. Make sure to keep your home’s humidity levels between 30–60%.
3). Food: Bacteria or splattered food particles that don’t get cleaned up run the risk of becoming common breeding grounds for mold.
Combat and Clean Up Mold
Monitor high use areas in your home that see a lot of moisture or house water. Washing machines without floor drains can cause a buildup of moisture underneath from either leaks or overflow and cause water damage as well as mold.
Remodeling your bathroom? Water-resistant drywall for a tile backer will likely degrade over time when being subjected to moisture repeatedly. Instead, use cement backer board for a long-lasting mold-free product.
Bathrooms are high traffic mold areas, cut down on spores by using moisture-wicking shower curtains. This prevents the harboring of soap or bacteria, which acts as a food for mold growth. As a good rule, leave your bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after showering.
Humidifier machines can help with allergens by keeping pollen at bay, but it can also hinder allergy sufferers by distributing mold growth. Make sure to clean and treat your machine with an antimicrobial solution often. If you don’t need a humidifier, use a dehumidifier to get your home back to the safe levels of 30-60%.
Mold and mildew can be strong adversaries if you want to keep your home and air healthy, but they can be easily defeated by knowing which areas of your home to monitor.
Article inspired by Better Homes & Gardens.