Despite San Diego’s dry desert climate, mold should still be a major concern for all San Diego property owners. Here are 8 tips from us here at Clean Earth Restorations to help residents of San Diego County identify mold before it becomes problematic:
1. Identify problem areas in your property and deal with them
Though it may be impossible to mold proof your home, you can take steps to make it mold resistent. Are there any problem areas? Does any part of your property flood? Do you notice condensation on your window? Are there any water stains from a persistent leak? Mold can be prevented from growing or spreading by tasks as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp room, installing products that are mold-resistant, or repairing gutters that have been damaged. Or in some cases it may be a matter of waterproofing renovation. Waiting can only cost you money.
2. Check for proper ventilation
Make sure daily activities like cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing laundry doesn't invite mold by checking for proper ventilation in high-moisture areas in your home or other property. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves, showers — to the outside. AC units can be very helpful for dealing with humidity, but they may produce moisture themselves so be sure to check them periodically. Cracking a window can often be both the simplest and best fix.
3. Dry wet areas as soon as possible
Mold needs moisture to grow, so deal with wet as soon as you recognize the problem. Water seepage into rooms after a heavy rainfall, from a leaky pipe, or even just a carpet spill should be dried within 24 hours. If you've experienced a minor flood, remove fabric and furniture that have been water damaged if they can't be completely dried. Even simple occurrences, such as leaving wet items lying around the house, need to be attended to. It is important make sure to dry the walls and floors after the shower has been used. Even leaving wet clothes in the washing machine can be a catalyst for mold. An easy way to avoid moldy clothes is to hang them out to dry in places with good ventilation and air circulation.
4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products
Using products that are mold-resistant, such as mold-resistant drywall, mold-resistant Sheetrock, and paints that contain mold inhibitors can help protect your home against mold. The difference between traditional drywall and mold-resistant drywall, is that mold-resistant drywall is paperless. It has a gypsum core that is covered in fiberglass, which makes it very water-resistant, whereas traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper, which can soak up moisture and is difficult to rid of mold. Moisture-resistant drywall can be best suited for places that may experience consistent levels of moisture, such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
5. Monitor Humidity
The EPA recommends keeping a level of indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent, which can be measured using a moisture meter that can be purchased from almost any hardware store. Condensation on windows, walls, and pipes can be indicators of excessive humidity. If condensation is found around the house, it is important to immediately dry the surface and to address where the moisture appears to be coming from.
6. Divert water away from your property
Water may collect around your home is the ground is not sloped away enough from the foundation. This could cause water to seep into basements and crawlspaces.
7. Clean or repair roof gutters
Full or damaged gutters can quickly cause a mold problem due to their constant leaking. Water stains on ceilings or walls after a storm may be an indication of a leak. It is important to regularly clean roof gutters and inspect for damage, and repair them as necessary.
8. Improve airflow in your property
According to the EPA, the air is able to hold less moisture as temperatures drop. Excess moisture may appear on walls, windows and floors without good airflow in your house. To increase circulation, By opening doors between rooms and to closets that might be a lower temperature than the room they are in, and moving furniture away from walls, air circulation can be improved. Additionally, fresh air from outdoors will typically reduce household moisture and is a good way to combat mold.
If you ever detect mold in an area larger than 10 feet it is important that you immediately contact professionals like us here at Clean Earth Restorations for help dealing with the problem. If you have discovered mold in your home contact us today!