“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was actually addressing fire safety when he uttered these now famous words? Had he been alive today, I am positive that he would have used these words in relation to mold prevention.
You see – while it might seem costly to put all the proper measures in place to prevent mold, preventing mold is exactly what you want to do. The back-end cost of cleaning up a mold disaster or even possibly loosing your home completely is far more expensive then some basic monthly mold prevention along with a few well placed devices designed to reduce your chance of inviting mold into your home.
There is no guaranteed way to 100% prevent mold. Certain situations like a flood or catastrophic storm are out of your control. If you are a tenant you are also at the mercy of the diligence of your landlord. On the flip side, if you are a landlord you are at the mercy of your tenant’s diligence. But the majority of mold events can be prevented with some very simple measures.
Read on for more information about mold prevention or click a heading below to jump straight to that section.
Best Ways To Prevent Mold
There is a looooong list of all the various ways you can prevent mold in your home. While I will be writing many posts dedicated to mold prevention (which you can find listed at the bottom of this page), I want to briefly cover the best ways to prevent mold. Here are my 12 top mold prevention tactics:
- Ensure that your home was / is built correctly for the climate / area. Unfortunately, a lot of mold problems arise because of a builder cutting corners.
- Proper ventilation is a must. You need ventilation in all the right places and vents should be out and away from your home – not into an attic or behind a wall.
- Make sure your home is properly sealed (windows and doors).
- Immediately fix leaks.
- Do not allow moisture to sit. Dry out wet areas immediately.
- Keep up with home maintenance. Don’t put off basic repairs as they can lead to a bigger issue.
- Prevent condensation.
- Reduce humidity.
- Do not allow furniture and draperies to block supply grilles. This can cause condensation.
- Eliminate clutter.
- Run room air purifiers.
- Direct water away from your house.
Household Items Susceptible To Mold
Did you know that there are a LOT of household items that are magnets for mold? Its true. While I am not telling you to immediately toss these things, it is a good idea to limit these items and keep a close eye on the ones in your home.
What household items are most susceptible to mold? Sit down for this!
- Fabric furniture such as couches and chairs
- Bean bag chairs
- Unfinished wood furniture and décor
- Reclaimed wood furniture and décor
- Anything made out of particle board
- Anything made out of wicker
- Butcher block type cutting boards
- Butcher block counter tops even if sealed
- Bread baskets
- Bath toys
- Stuffed animals
- Shower mats / bathtub mats
- Padded headboards
- Throw pillows
- Vinyl shower curtains
- Fabric organizing and storage bins
This list is by no means exhaustive. These are simply the worst offenders when it comes to mold growth.
How Regular Cleaning Prevents Mold
Regular cleaning is VERY important when it comes to mold prevention. Oddly, it is the most overlooked way in which to prevent mold. Let’s take a look at how cleaning prevents mold.
- Clutter reduces or can even block airflow. If your AC cannot circulate air properly, you can end up with increased moisture in the air. Therefore, try to keep odds and ends to a minimum and make sure what you do have out in the open is not blocking an air return or grille.
- Mold spores and dust are the best of friends. If you allow dust to build up you are basically inviting mold spores to hunker down and stay for the long haul. Mold spores fly around in dust and will easily move from room to room that way. Dust as often as possible and like I mentioned above – keep décor to a minimum as it is a dust magnet.
- Mold spores come in on shoes every single day. Clean floors are very important. If you have carpet and live in a heavy traffic household you really need to vacuum daily. If you have wood, tile, or another hard floor then sweeping or vacuuming every other day is ideal. At the very minimum, floors should be vacuumed and/or mopped once per week.
- Window sills and the areas near doors are magnets for mold and mold spores as well. Not only do they get direct hits of dust daily but they also are areas where moisture abounds. It is very important to clean these areas regularly to prevent mold growth.
- Mold can be found inside the air ducts, thus it is recommended that you clean them regularly to prevent mold from forming in those hidden places. Typically a yearly cleaning is recommended but if you live in a dusty area (like the desert) then every six months might be warranted.
- If you collect newspapers or magazines, don’t forget that they also make a great food source for mold. Be sure to throw these out regularly.
Basic Mold Prevention Products
Aside from dutiful home maintenance, regular cleaning efforts, and attending to leaks and water intrusion quickly, there are lots of other ways to prevent mold. The product categories listed below are all items that either help remove or prevent mold spores from settling in your home OR assist with preventing leaks from going unnoticed.
- Air purifier
- Humidity gauge
- HEPA vacuum
- Salt lamps
- Fogger and EC3 spray
- Leak alarms
- Under sink cabinet mats
Mold Resistant Products
There are lots of products that have some ability to resistant moisture and mold. Some products are more mold resistant than others but honestly, any amount of mold resistance is better than nothing.
Obviously items made of glass, metal, glazed ceramic, stainless steal or porcelain are going to be resistant to mold growth. So lots of your everyday household items are already immune. But what about the items that aren’t? Let’s have a look at what is available in the mold resistant products category. Be sure to check out my Products I Love page. All of this and more can be found there.
Available mold resistant building materials
- Drywall tape
- Steel framing components (to be used instead of wood)
- Tile and bamboo flooring
- Carpet (although I suggest NOT having carpet if possible)
- Caulk and Sealants
- Shower Pan
- Concrete blocks or bricks
- Rubber water barrier (roof)
Available mold resistant household items
- Charcoal infused mattress
- Towels and linens
- Bath mats
- Specialized shower curtains
- Bamboo kitchen items
- Mold proof storage bags and containers
Are You Ready To Dive In To Mold Prevention? Read All My Posts About How To Prevent Mold Here.
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