Mold prevention is key if your home is to be a safe haven. Here are some suggestions, based in part on the book The Homeowner’s Guide to Mold by Michael Pugliese.
- Ventilate your dryer directly outside.
- Check monthly for water leaks behind washing machine.
- Be sure there is adequate space behind the washing machine so hoses do not kink.
- Consider installing a water alarm next to the water heater to alert you to any leaks.
- Check water heater monthly.
- Drain the water heater according to appliance directions.
Heating and Air Conditioning
- Use filters that are MERV 6 or better and replace them regularly.
- Keep air vents and baseboard fans free of debris.
- Check air conditioning drip pans regularly.
- Check furnace once a month for leaks.
- Be sure window air conditioning units are slightly tilted toward the exterior to avoid undesireable moisture.
- Purchase a humidity guage and maintain a humidity level of 50% or below.
- Check the cabinet underneath the sink frequently for evidence of water leaks.
- Keep refrigerator clear of undesired condensation and spills.
- Clean behind and under refrigerator periodically to keep the area free of dust (a food source for mold).
- Check dishwashers frequently for leaks.
Closets and Storage Areas
- Minimize clutter! Clutter encourages dust, which is food for mold and mites and makes it difficult to check for mold.
- Use plastic tubs and containers rather than corrugated cardboard boxes for storage.
- Do not stockpile newspapers, paper bags, or magazines as they are potential mold sources.
- Do not crowd closet walls. Ventilation is critical, even in closets!
- If your closet is on an outside wall and is poorly insulated, do your best to keep the air temperature in the closet the same as the rest of the home. Leave closet doors open.
- Use ventilation fans. Keep them free of dust and in proper working order. Run them until steam from each shower or bath has dissipated.
- Change towels frequently. Towels can harbor mold and mildew.
- Replace carpeting in bathrooms with tile or other appropriate flooring.
- Keep bathroom doors open when not in use to allow for more ventilation.
- Spray mold-prone areas with hydrogen peroxide after each shower.
- Keep shower curtains and shower curtain liners clean.
- Consider installing splash guards to avoid runoff from showers or baths. AFM Safecoat offers a toxic-free caulk that's a great option when installing.
- Keep drains and all plumbing in working order to prevent overflows.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Check all baseboards, ceilings, and walls frequently looking for soft spots, stains, or other signs of water damage.