I’m sure you’re tired of having mold at home. Removing it takes a lot of time, it puts your health at risk and can take a lot of money and effort to have it removed by a professional.
And it seems impossible to prevent it from appearing, right? It feels like it grows everywhere. It’s like the plague.
Well, the truth is, if you know what causes it, you have the solution to prevent it too! It’s that easy.
And all prevention methods have one main goal: control the moisture and humidity levels on each room of the house.
To prevent mold from growing inside, the humidity level in your house should be below 60%.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows practically everywhere, outdoors and indoors. It just needs a bit of water.
These are all the conditions that need to exist for mold to appear:
- Oxygen (obviously!)
- Moisture (excess of humidity and water)
- Warm temperatures (almost all types of mold need warmth to grow)
- A food source (such as textiles, wood and drywall)
- Darkness (they can’t grow under direct light)
- Mold spores (from outside travelling through the air)
Now, the main cause of mold is the excess of moisture. So it will definitely grow in damp areas and warm moist surfaces.
And the excess of moisture at home can be created due to bad ventilation and water leaks. Here are 8 reasons why you may have an excess of moisture at home:
Any crack you may have at home is a potential source of water infiltrations. Which will turn into indoor moisture eventually.
Water always creates moisture. And water leaks (in pipes and roofs, for example) such as dripping taps will rise the moisture level of the room. Machines that use water such as dishwashers and washing machines can also have leaks and produce mold.
The difference of temperature between rooms in a house determines the level of moisture indoors and will also condensate the water vapor into tiny droplets that will get all the windows, walls and floors wet.
If the foundations of a house are in constant contact with water, then moisture will definitely filter through the walls.
This affects negatively to the level of moisture in a room and helps water vapor to condensate too. And not ventilating the rooms will allow the steam to condensate, and wet surfaces will take more time to dry out.
A family of 3 people will produce 12 liters of water vapor in a day! That’s amazing, right? All the showering, cooking, etc… will increase the level of moisture at home so try to ventilate the room right after or while you’re doing an activity!
If it has rained or has been humid for a couple of days in a row, mold will start to grow in walls, benches and any surface they find on their way. They will spread their spores into the air, increasing the probability of letting them in into your house.
Leaving wet clothes hanged inside a room for a long time without ventilation will probably cause mold to grow on them and other surfaces around them as they will also get wet from all the moisture they’ll be spreading.
Now that we know all the mold causes, we can address this problem attacking directly to where it hurts: the moisture level of your house!
That’s the only way.
Here you have 9 tips to try and reduce all mold causes:
This may seem impossible but it’s not. All household activities increase the level of moisture, whether you’re having a bath or showering, cooking or doing the laundry. It is inevitable, but you can try to control it by applying these measures:
- Ventilate right after or while doing the activity using dehumidifiers, AC units, fans or just opening the windows.
- Wipe down the walls to remove the excess of water if water vapor condensation has occurred.
- Don’t leave damp clothes hanging inside without ventilation.
- Clean floods and spills immediately.
- In bathrooms and basement is better to have area rugs rather than wall-to-wall carpets.
- Repair all water leaks in the roofs, walls, pipes and clean roof gutters.
There’s also a machine called hygrometer which measures the moisture levels indoors at all times and you can check if everything’s right or you need to apply any of the measures I just told you.
If you try to control the house temperature and maintain a similar temperature in all the rooms, then you’ll prevent a lot of water vapor condensation. This way you’ll avoid having wet windows, walls, floors and especially, carpets.
Mold will grow in warm areas, so a way to keep mold away is to maintain the temperature around 70 F. And in winter keep the heat as low as possible.
You can use house temperature monitors to make it easier for you (plus is cheap and will also measure the humidity which will help with the next prevention tip!)
Mold loves damp areas, so the only way to avoid it is to dry any wet areas immediately, within the first 24 to 48 hours.
To reduce the humidity you can also use dehumidifiers. They work miracles!
Here are some of the best dehumidifiers if you’re thinking about buying one! Just be sure you buy the right one based on its capacity:
For small rooms:
For medium to large rooms:
As you’ve already seen, this is a great prevention method. And will also improve the air quality you and your family breath.
If you can’t open the windows because it’s too cold, use fans, AC units or anything that will improve the air flow.
Mold eats organic materials such as textiles, wood, paint, fabrics, leather, etc. And that’s how they live and grow.
But these materials become even more attractive if they’re dirty.
To reduce the probability of having mold growing on these surfaces, clean your floors, walls and carpets regularly. Vacuum often. Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner if you can (if you're in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, check our post Best Vacuum Cleaners 2021). It is proved that HEPA filters clean much more in-depth and retain mold spores more efficiently than normal vacuum cleaners.
If you’re going to renovate your house or want to go all-in and totally prevent mold from appearing, then this option is quite good. Using mold-inhibitors to paint your walls or mold-resistant furniture and carpets, will save you a ton of tie and trouble.
Letting the sun in has many wonderful benefits. And when it comes to preventing mold it works great! And it’s free!
Mold grows in dark places and can’t stand the light. So take advantage of the daylight and leave the curtains open during the day to let the light in.
As you know, mold spores float in the air and they are everywhere outdoors. So when you opne a window or a door you’re letting them in. And even though in a small concentration they’re not harmful, once you have a higher concentration inside than outside, that’s when it starts to get dangerous.
It is impossible to remove them all indoors but there’s a way to minimize them. And that is by cleaning and dusting regularly. As said before, vacuuming is your best ally here. And HEPA air filters are the best catching all those mold spores.
This one is quite obvious.
Mold will keep growing and coming back if you don’t make sure you have removed it completely.
If you have mold at home already, it’s not enough to reduce the moisture and control the temperature. You need to take action and get it out as fast as possible.
If this is your case, here you have an article on how to get mold out of carpets.
That’s a wrap! You’re now really prepared to turn your home into the worst place for mold to grow. And the best place for you to live!
You know the most common mold causes and how to prevent them.
Just remember the main goal here: moisture control.
Once you’ve got it under control, you’re good to go!
I'm Tony and I consider myself a carpet cleaning expert! I've tried the 5 most common professional cleaning methods myself, and I've reviewed thousands of carpet cleaning & installation companies. I'm currently exploring the DIY Cleaning and Installation world. It's not that hard and it's a lot of fun!