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How to prevent microbial growth in your home

High humidity levels in your home aren’t just a source of discomfort; they can also lead to a serious problem: mold growth.

Mold is a form of fungi and there are dozens of varieties. Molds are all around us. In nature, they usually aren’t a cause for concern and are actually quite beneficial, as they aid in decomposition; however, when it grows indoors, it can be quite problematic.

Mold spores are airborne and they can easily enter into your home through windows, doors, cracks, and even through clothing and shoes. Molds thrive in moist, warm, dark locations. If your home meets these criterion and spores make their way inside, you could be looking at serious issues. As the spores colonize, they can wreak havoc on your home – and your health.

Indoors, areas that are particularly susceptible to mold growth include bathrooms, windows, basements, attics, laundry rooms, behind sinks, around appliances that use water (dishwashers, refrigerators, etc.); basically, anywhere moisture is present can be a prime location for mold growth.

Indoor mold growth isn’t always problematic; low spore levels are considered safe and aren’t a cause for concern. It’s when spore levels are in the mid-to-high range that mold can become extremely hazardous. Exposure to high levels of mold can cause numerous health issues, including headaches, coughing, fatigue, runny nose, nasal congestion, skin and eye irritation, and even memory loss and mood swings. In severe cases, it can even lead to respiratory infections.

While low levels of mold spores are generally considered safe, it’s still advisable to do everything you can to prevent the fungi from growing in your home, as low levels can quickly become high; moreover, if anyone in your home suffers from allergies or has a pre-existing respiratory condition, exposure to low levels of mold spores can pose health risks.

How to Keep Mold at Bay

So, how do you prevent mold from growing in your home? There are several things that you can do on a regular basis to keep your home – and your health and the health of your family – protected.

  • Keep humidity levels in check. As mentioned, mold thrives in moist locations, so high humidity levels increase the risk for mold growth. Ideally, you should try to keep the humidity levels between 30 and 60 percent. If humidity levels are too high, dehumidifiers can help.
  • Dry up any water leaks or spills as soon as they occur. Mold can begin colonizing within 24 to 48 hours after a spill or leak.
  • Always use an exhaust fan or keep a window open in bathrooms when showering or bathing. Continue ventilating until the mirrors are no longer foggy.
  • Dry any condensation on plumbing fixtures, walls, windows, doors, and any other surfaces right away.
  • To prevent condensation on pipes, wrap them with insulation. Repair windows that could have air leaks. Make sure moisture-generating appliances are properly vented.

Mold Inspection & Testing Charlottesville had vast experience performing mold tests in homes throughout the area. In addition to the above-mentioned tips, we also recommend regular mold testing to ensure the safety of your family. To speak to an MI&T representative, please call 434.763.8732.

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