Preventing Mold

While there isn’t a surefire way to guarantee you’ll never encounter mold, there are steps that can be taken to prevent mold from growing in the home.  Since mold spores are everywhere, the primary means for prevention is eliminating the conditions that allow for mold to grow.

MOLD 101

What is Mold?

Mold is a naturally occurring fungus that requires water, oxygen, food (organic and some synthetic materials), and moderate temperatures to grow.

What can Mold grow on?

Pretty much anything: carpet, drywall, tile, adhesive.

Is there a time of year when mold is worse?

Living room of a home with mold growth on walls
Mold can grow fast! A running faucet in a closed house is all that it takes.

Yes! Winter.  Cold air holds less moisture than warm air; the excess moisture that the air can’t hold has to accumulate somewhere…this condensation can accumulate on surfaces and provide a suitable condition for mold growth.

What are some common locations of mold in the home?

Closets, basements, and bathrooms are the areas we see the most mold.

What factors contribute to mold?

Poor circulation and high humidity are the main contributors to mold in the home.

Preventing Mold

Use a Dehumidifier.

Not to be confused with a humidifier. Removing moisture from the air is one of the most effective ways to eliminate mold. Keep in mind that the human body is itself a humidifier as we add a substantial amount of moisture back into the air.

Promote airflow.

Open windows in the summer and use fans to maintain air circulation in the home.

Don’t Over-water houseplants

Mold spores love damp houseplant soil.

Showering and Bathing

mold grows among a lighting fixtureMold spores love long steaming hot showers. Run the bathroom exhaust fan during and after showers and open the door post-shower to remove excess moisture. Be sure to report broken exhaust fans to maintenance. Many homes have exhaust fans that run on a schedule to promote airflow within the home; tampering with these fans or switching them off the “auto” function can cause moisture buildup.

Leaks and Clogs

Water intrusion into the home can set the stage for mold growth. Report clogged gutters, leaks, or suspected water intrusion to maintenance.

Furnace Filters

Check furnace filters every 30 days, and exchange at the U-Fix-It at minimum every 90 days.

Mold Removal

If caught early, cleanup of mold can be a quick process. Use a mixture of 1 part bleach, 1 part water and apply to the mold with a spray bottle or sponge. Note that mold can penetrate beneath drywall, this method can only remove surface mold, mildew, or mold on porous surfaces.

If a bleach solution doesn’t provide a fix or if you suspect mold has penetrated deep into the surface, contact our maintenance line.