Published on October 16th, 2015 | by Guest Contributor0
How to Reduce and Eliminate Mold in Your House
No one wants to have mold growing in their home, but what are the best ways to reduce and eliminate mold in your home? In this post we’ll share some tips for reducing the growth of mold and give you solutions for eliminating mold in your home.
Remediate any Existing Mold
The first thing to do when dealing with a mold situation is to remove as much as possible, as mold growth leads to more mold growth! You eliminate mold naturally using white vinegar, tea tree oil and/or ethanol (aka, vodka!). If you prefer something stronger, you can use a diluted bleach spray if the vinegar is not enough to kill it off. Clean the area thoroughly, then allow to dry completely.
Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks to make sure it doesn’t grow back. Once the mold is gone, take the following steps to ensure that you reduce your chances of more mold growth.
Lower Relative Humidity
Relative humidity rises when moisture increases and temperature decreases. Therefore, basements and crawl spaces are the most problematic areas in the house when it comes to moisture issues as they are normally the coldest and have the most moisture infiltration. Expel the moist air and replenish it with drier, warmer air to lower relative humidity and reduce the conditions that foster mold growth.
Keep Basements and Crawl Spaces Dry
These areas provide an ideal environment for proliferation of biological and chemical pollutants as they are prone to high humidity and stagnation. Do not hang clothes to dry in your basement or laundry room. Make sure the clothes dryer is properly vented to the outside. Keep sump pumps covered and seal any apparent leaks.
Quickly Remove Standing Water
No surprise that standing water can lead to mold growth. As soon as you notice standing water, clean it up and repair any flooded or damaged areas to order to reduce moisture levels and prevent mold growth. Consider throwing away anything that was water-soaked, like furniture or carpeting.
Provide Continuous Ventilation
To the greatest extent possible, provide continuous air circulation to prevent stagnation and to draw out moisture that may be trapped within the structure of the house.
Should you Use a Dehumidifier?
If you need to control the moisture level in your home, many people believe that dehumidifier will suffice. While a dehumidifier will help draw out moisture from the home, and– assuming you create a way of draining the moisture from the dehumidifier– will reduce moisture accumulation, it is not an optimal solution.
Dehumidifiers recycle the same air, which can lead to poor indoor air quality. If there are potential air quality issues, like leaking gases, radon, toxic vapors, or pollutants, it will recirculate these in the home. Dehumidifiers are also energy guzzlers and cost hundreds of dollars a year in energy cost to operate.
A more complete solution is to find a method that expels moisture and pollutants, but also replenishes that air with conditioned air from the living space. This process can improves the indoor air quality of the entire home as it expels gases, radon, toxic vapors and other pollutants at the point of entry and prevents problematic air from entering the living area above.
Continuous mechanical ventilation of this sort can also help remove any moisture that is saturated within the walls or ceiling. The continual movement of air over these surfaces helps draw out trapped moisture and wick it away. In fact, as part of their Indoor airPLUS program technical guidelines for basements and crawl spaces, the EPA requires installing a ventilation unit to constantly exhaust moisture and pollutants, circulate air through the crawl space, and provide conditioned replenishment air into the area.
One of the solutions to this is the WAVE Ventilation units for basements, crawl spaces, and slab homes offered by WAVE Home Solutions. The WAVE unit utilizes mechanical ventilation to control indoor moisture, expel harmful pollutants, improve the indoor air quality of the home, and can save hundreds in energy savings over dehumidifiers while improving the energy efficiency of the entire HVAC system.
*Costs based on average prices for running dehumidifier 24 hours a day x 30 days = 720 hours month. Electricity (per KWH): USA – $0.135; costs will vary depending on actual monthly usage, model and rate for kwh (kilowatts)
This post was sponsored by WAVE Home Solutions.