Humidity and moisture in the home help create a breeding ground for mold. Being aware of these issues will enable you to prevent mold before it starts. Here are a few common situations that contribute to mold growth in the home.
Storing Cardboard Boxes in Humid Spaces
Cardboard boxes filled with Christmas decorations or other seasonal items are at risk for mold growth. Since the garage, attic, and basement are common storage spaces that are shut off from the rest of the house, humidity is often a problem. When the cardboard becomes damp from humidity, mold will grow and transfer its musty smell to the contents of your storage boxes.
Declutter your home to eliminate unneeded and unwanted items so you’ll have fewer things to keep in storage. Pack belongings in plastic totes and use a dehumidifier in your storage spaces. Reducing humidity levels will reduce the chance of mold growth.
Wet Clothes Contribute to Mold Growth
Your kids may consider it a hassle, but hanging wet towels after a bath or shower is better for everyone’s health. The same applies to sweaty clothes or wet swimsuits. When damp fabrics are piled up on the floor, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to form. Hang damp clothing and fabrics to dry to reduce the risk of mold growth.
Mold Growth can be Caused by Condensation
If your windows get foggy and water droplets form on the glass, the humidity inside your home is too high. Other than condensation on your windows, signs of high humidity include damp countertops, moisture on walls, and slippery floors. This is normal in parts of the country where summers are excessively hot and muggy. If the humidity level inside reaches 60 percent, the likelihood of mold growth increases.
To lower humidity inside your house, use ventilation fans when cooking and showering. Clean or replace your HVAC filters and use a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels under control.
Water Spills Encourage Mold Growth
Running into the house with wet feet or spilling water on carpet may seem harmless. However, if the water seeps into the padding under the flooring, mold may begin to grow.
Immediately clean up any spills and dry damp areas. Teach your kids to dry off thoroughly after a bath. Vacuum all rugs and carpeting on a weekly basis.
Venting into an Attic
Stovetop vents and bathroom fans circulate air to remove moisture from the environment. Make sure your vents exhaust to the outdoors, not into the attic. Attic space gets humid and venting more steam into this area creates the perfect environment for mold.
If it is impossible to run ductwork to the exterior of your home, place moisture traps on your vents to help prevent mold growth in your attic.