Preventing Mold With Proper Humidity Levels
We often associate mold growth with excess water on the ground or flooring of a space, but humidity can lead to mold growth just as readily. A quick fact to remember: 60% or higher humidity can lead to mold growth. Keep levels between 30% and 50%. Because mold feeds on moisture that exists in an environment, regardless of how it gets to the spore, controlling humidity levels in a building is an important part of keeping your property mold free, especially if you live in a climate that has regularly warm temperatures.
Tips to Prevent Mold Growth and Reduce Humidity:
- Keep your HVAC maintained. That means making sure that your air conditioning system has been thoroughly cleaned and maintained, ideally on an annual basis. Air conditioners use condensers and other mechanisms to keep air at a comfortable temperature, and that involves condensed moisture and water traveling through the mechanical system. Even the cleanest, newest air conditioner can fall prey to mold if left uncleaned for years at a time, and in climates that are humid on the outside, the chances of getting mold inside of the air conditioner go up dramatically.
- Make sure your building is leak-free. Moisture that enters an environment evaporates over time, but it doesn’t just vanish entirely. Instead, it can become humidity, which can travel well beyond the point at which the leak originated, and travel upward or downward depending on the structure of a building, the temperatures from nearby machinery, and more. Have your property tested for leaks as often as you can to ensure that you don’t have any unwanted moisture. This includes roof and window leaks as well as plumbing issues.
- Keep areas ventilated. Humidity can build up in area of a building where there’s excessive moisture, such as a bathroom or kitchen, for an extended period. If these areas don’t have proper ventilation, then it’s only a matter of time before mold can gain a foothold. Even if you think that the area is “sealed off,” and thus not at risk, bear in mind that you can carry mold spores from the outside into any room on your clothing, in your hair, or on your skin. It only takes a few spores to create a colony. Good ventilation maintains proper humidity levels and helps keep your environment mold free.
- Clean and declutter, especially in attics and basements. More clutter means more surfaces and materials that can absorb moisture in the air, which in turn gives mold more places to grow if you aren’t paying attention. Decluttering your space means having a healthier environment. Paper, fabric, and other materials are all prime growth spots for mold. Often, packed closets, attics and basements can increase the likelihood of poor airflow, which means mold can gain traction in those areas.
If you’ve detected mold, or suspect that your building may have mold growth, you can have a professional mold service perform an inspection to determine if there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. Tests can even include spore inspections of the air, for the mold that you can’t see, but which can still negatively impact your health. Water Extraction Team is a leader in helping you rid your building of a mold contamination. Call them today.
Author: Dick Wagner