Mold is a type of fungus that plays an important role in nature by decomposing organic material. However, mold causes illness and damages property when it grows indoors. Don’t make these 8 common mistakes that cause mold in the home.
1. Neglected Leaks
Mold thrives in moisture, so neglecting to fix leaks can cause mold in the home. Small drips behind the toilet, slow leaks under the sink, and tiny puddles of water near the washing machine provide an ideal breeding ground for mold. Don’t put off fixing leaks, no matter how small they are.
2. High Indoor Humidity
Many places have high humidity outdoors during the summer. When the humidity indoors climbs over 50 percent, mold is likely to grow. Don’t let high humidity cause mold at home. Run a dehumidifier in the basement and other damp places. Turn on the ventilation fan or open a window in the bathroom while showering. Switch on the hood vent in the kitchen when boiling water and cooking.
3. Wet Clothing on the Floor
Wet towels, bath mats, bathing suits, and other wet clothing left lying on the floor can cause mold at home. When you smell a distinctive musty odor, conditions are right for mold and mildew to thrive. Hang and spread out towels after each use. Hang any wet clothes to dry before tossing them in the laundry bin, or else wash and dry them right away.
4. Overwatered Houseplants Cause Mold at Home
Most people are concerned about underwatering plants, but overwatering them is just as bad for plants and worse for you. Soggy soil is an invitation for mold to grow. Mold spores float into the indoor air, causing allergic reactions. Look out for fuzzy mold in the soil of houseplants. Spoon it away and replace it with fresh soil. Only water plants as needed when the soil is dry.
5. Stacks of Cardboard Boxes Cause Mold at Home
Do you have stacks of cardboard boxes in your garage or basement? Mold loves growing on damp cardboard, which can ruin your items in storage. Use plastic storage bins instead. Waterproof your storage area and fix any leaks. Placing a few pans of cat litter or charcoal in your storage area can help reduce moisture in the air.
6. Poor Ventilation
Poor ventilation encourages mold to grow in the home. Make sure your clothes dryer, bathroom fan, and stove vent to the outdoors. If they are venting to the attic or another place inside the home, they should be upgraded. Many homes have ventilation fans that vent into the attic, but this is a mistake that causes mold growth.
7. Spills on Carpeting Cause Mold at Home
Don’t overlook spills. Puddles that seep into the carpet create a good environment for mold to grow. Always blot up spills and wipe underneath the carpet right away.
8. Freshly-Cut Firewood Stored Indoors
As cut firewood ages, it releases moisture. Store freshly-cut firewood in a covered area outdoors, away from the house. Once the firewood is seasoned, about 6 months after being cut, it can be brought inside.