1) Routine maintenance and cleaning is essential. Mold spores as well as bacteria and viruses can live in common household dust, dirt and grime. You don’t need to be a cleaning guru, but regularly dusting, sweeping, mopping, running the vacuum and cleaning up messes quickly makes a big difference.
2) little air flow is generally a good thing. It helps prevent areas of stagnant air that can lead to problems over time. It’s one of the reasons cleaning helps so much. When you sweep or vacuum, the air around the perimeter of the room gets moved even behind furniture many times. That movement helps prevent pockets of trapped air that can cause small areas of condensation that can lead to mold or bacterial growth.
3) The most important thing to watch is humidity and moisture. I’ll spend a couple minutes on this one. If something gets wet that is normally dry (flooring, walls, carpet…) get them dry as soon as possible. Many times this requires professional assistance but not always.
i) If you have access to the subfloor below your home, take a look every 6-12 months. It’s very common for toilet seals to fail and slowly create a concealed mold problem right beneath your feet.
ii) Another common area where we see issues develop is around the ceiling or windows in the bathroom. Most bathrooms have exhaust fans but people (myself included) aren’t always great at turning them on. They’re noisy, we want to save electricity or we just don’t think about it; at any rate they just don’t get turned on and left on as long as they should. Whenever someone takes a shower, the fan should be on and should stay on for about 10 minutes longer than the shower to get the moisture out of the bathroom. You don’t want all that humidity condensing on the walls continuously. It will cause problems.
iii) One really simple thing you can do, is get a humidity monitor. They run from $10-$30 and many have bluetooth so the info will show up on your phone. Monitor humidity in your home and crawlspace. If you see that humidity is above 60% very often, you need to take action so that you can keep relative humidity below 55%. That may require adding a dehumidifier or sealing your crawl space or making an adjustment to your fan speed on the HVAC system.
I promise, whatever you do to maintain your home will be well worth the payoff. If you have questions on what to do to prevent problems or if you already have something you’re concerned about just give us a call – 336-829-5345. We can have a technician out to check on things and put a plan together that will fix the problem and prevent future ones too.
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