Studies indicate that 50 to 65 percent of homes have a mold problem indoors. In fact, there are thousands of mold types which can grow and reproduce within your walls and wallpaper, ceilings, furniture, and window frames. Unfortunately, once mold has started, mold spores spread easily and can’t be completely eliminated. The best way to handle mold is to prevent it in the first place by controlling moisture inside your home.
In addition to being an expensive problem to fix in your home—professional mold removal services can cost as much as $30,000—excessive exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and infections. Recent studies by the EPA and the University of Cincinnati also suggest a potential link between early exposure to mold and the development of asthma in children.
Here are five ways to significantly reduce the likelihood of mold in your home. Don’t be afraid to turn to a reputable professional like Carrier dealer New Berlin Heating & Cooling if a mold problem seems too big to tackle on your own.
- Reduce the relative humidity in your home with a whole-house dehumidifier. Mold thrives in warm, humid conditions. The EPA recommends keeping humidity levels between 30 and 60 percent. You can monitor levels with a moisture meter from your local hardware store. Be aware of telltale signs of excessive humidity including condensation on pipes, walls, or windows—and use an air conditioner or whole-house dehumidifier during humid months.
- Prevent moisture problems by directing water away from your home’s foundation, fixing leaking roofs and windows, and checking and repairing plumbing and appliance leaks quickly.
- Use natural and mechanical ventilation to improve airflow in your home. Anything that improves the air circulation aids in ventilation, so open doors between rooms, move furniture away from the walls, open windows for fresh air exchange, and use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
- Keep your HVAC system clean—including your air ducts, heating and air conditioning systems—and change filters regularly since the system can transport and disperse mold spores throughout your home. Regular maintenance can help minimize these problems.
- Use air filtration and purification products like HEPA filters air purifiers, and UV lights—particularly those that not only capture but kill airborne mold spores. UV lights kill mold on the air conditioner coil.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/mold