What can I do to prevent mold problems in my home?

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Two Best Strategies for Mold Control

Moisture control and ventilation are the two prime mold-prevention strategies. First, stop moisture from getting in and, second, exhaust any moist air that is created in the home to the exterior right away. Most people think of water intrusion only in it’s most dramatic forms: a roof leak staining the ceiling or a puddle of water spreading across the floor from a leaking water pipe. But the slow and barely-noticed forms of water accumulation in your home can do just as much damage. 

    Cooking, bathing, heating with natural gas or propane, tiny  holes in an exterior walls that let in outdoor air, and even people breathing--all add gallons of water to the air in a home each day. Because mold requires a moist environment to grow, moisture-control is the most effective form of mold control. Here’s some places to check: 

•• Use the bathroom exhaust fans when showering and make sure they actually exhaust the air to the outside--that the ducts are not blocked or crimped, and don’t terminate in the attic.

•• If the hood fan over the range exhausts to the exterior (not recirculating), check to make sure that the air is actually blowing out at the termination point at the exterior wall or roof. If the range hood fan is recirculating, consider opening a window when cooking.

•• Clothes dryers produce and exhaust a tremendous amount of hot, moist air. Make sure the dryer duct isn’t damaged or clogged with lint, and verify that air is blowing out at the termination point. 


•• Check the caulking around the exterior doors and windows every four or five years, and repair any cracked or missing areas.

•• Check the caulking around bathtubs and showers, and retouch as necessary to keep a good seal.

•• Clean the gutters and downspouts each season, and keep them clear of debris. Downspouts should end at splash block or extensions that divert the water away from the base of the house. 

•• Poke your head up into the attic at least once a year to look around with a flashlight and sniff the air for any suspicious smells.

•• Adjust away from the walls any irrigation sprinklers that are spraying onto the house. 

•• Keep the condensate drain line from the air conditioning system flowing freely to a location away from the walls of the house. The terminations of the drain lines shown below are both too close to the house and obstructed by mulch. Flush the line at least once a year and check for any leaks at the pipe connections.

•• Make sure you know where the main water shut-off valve for your home is located, so you can turn off the water quickly in the event of a pipe leak.

   And when a water leak or spill does occur, clean it up promptly. Mold growth can begin with 48-hours on wet surfaces. For more on how mold and moisture can affect your home environment, click below to download the EPA guide for homeowners.
 

    Also, see our blog posts Should I buy a house with mold? and Why do new homes have more moisture and mold problems than older houses?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about MOLD:

• Is mold contagious? Can mold spread to my home if there is a nearby house with mold?  


Can infrared thermal imaging find mold behind a wall?

 
What is the right humidity level in a mobile home?

Who can clean up mold found during a home inspection in Florida?

How do I look for and find mold in my mobile home? 

• Why is there mold around the air conditioning vents? 

What can I do to prevent mold problems in my home?

Why is there a lead paint disclaimer in my real estate sales contract? 

How can I prevent mold in my Florida winter home when I'm gone for the summer? 

Should I use bleach to clean up mold?

• What should I do if mold is found during a home inspection?

      Visit our MOLD, LEAD AND OTHER CONTAMINANTS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

Wells

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests

Sinkholes

Stairs

When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes

Site

Shingle Roofs

Safety

Stucco

Remodeling

Wind Mitigation Form

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home

Inspector...?"

Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."

Radon

Brick

Plumbing

Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs

Foundations

Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants

Condominiums

Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile/Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil

Insurance

Floors

Insulation

Toilets

Exterior Walls & Structures

Generators

Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers

Electrical

Kitchens

Doors and Windows

(placeholder)

Cracks

Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps

Appliances

Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.

Bathrooms

Lighting

AFCI, CAFCI,

DFCI, & GFCI

Sinks

Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size

Attics

Electrical Switches

Siding

Search

This

Site

Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete

(placeholder)

Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

About Us