Let’s get one crucial fact out of the way first – you cannot escape mold. It is ever present in the global biosphere and it lives in what appears to be symbiosis with humanity – a symbiosis that works as long as spores do not proliferate too much. An excess mold on your food and in your home can have long-term consequences on your health, so here’s how to keep your home mold free.
A matter of moisture
In order to prevent the proliferation of mold in your home, you need to control the level of moisture in every corner of the household. If you own plants, do not overwater them during winter months. Keep tight spaces heated and open all doors and windows at least once every three days to let fresh air course through your home (also, every Fengshui expert will advise you do this). If you own a house with a basement, it is crucial to keep the temperature in these below-ground-level spaces above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (or 16 degrees Celsius). When summer months come around, invite experts to dehumidify your basement to achieve below 50% relative humidity.
Repaint walls every few years
All types of mold spores land on your walls and spread there over time. It might appear to be impossible, but you have to keep in mind that no matter how smooth the wall appears, at the microscopic level, it is filled with cracks and crevices where a variety of micro-organisms dwell. This is why you should purchase mold-repelling paint and redo your walls every few years. It will freshen up the look of your interior and this is also a good way to protect your household against the mold.
Make sure you have proper ventilation
Dehumidifiers and AC units are your best bet against the proliferation of mold in high-risk areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Opening doors and windows every now and then will simply not cut it if it’s a lived-in household filled with family members who regularly cook and shower. If your house has a vent system, make sure to clean it at the beginning of every season in order to prevent dirt buildup and clogs.
Also, the last thing you need is a vent that directs steam to the attic – invest into a quality grid that will take moist air out of your house. Furthermore, high-tech mold air purifiers are becoming increasingly popular devices that are very efficient when it comes to getting rid of mold spores. They can be really handy if you live in a house or apartment that doesn’t have a ventilation grid built into it.
Get rid of the wool based flooring
If carpets and pads on your floor do not serve any other purpose than the decorative one, get rid of them as soon as you can. No matter how often and thoroughly you clean them, they will always be an unspeakable cocktail of dirt, germs and yes, mold. It’ll only take a bit over a week for it to develop a health-endangering biosphere and you’d be better off without them. A similar problem plagues couches and beds, but to a lesser extent ever since mold-repelling, anti-allergen products and mattresses have been invented.
Keep mold-prone food in your fridge
When people have a storage-worth pile of food, they tend to shove it into pantries or basements. This can be a really bad idea if we are talking about food that is not absolutely dry – in other words, fruit, vegetables and other foods that have some moisture within them. It will not be enough to keep this food in dry crates, all clumped together in such environments.
The problem with mold under such conditions is that, once it begins to develop on a single item, it will spread basically by the principle of geometric progression – faster and faster – and before you know it, you will have a biohazard domestic disaster on your hands. You have to move them into the fridge or other cold storage. Pantries can work during cold winter months, but make sure you can manage the amount of food you bring into your household. Never purchase more than you can preserve.
Mold is not just a single species of fungi. There are over a thousand types of mold filling nooks and crannies of your home – every wall, leaf, surface of unwashed food, furnishing, window and doorframe – it is all filled with mold. Therefore, you should not live in fear of it – we have naturally evolved to live in such conditions. The problem arises when mold goes out of control and becomes visible to the human eye. With these tips on how to keep your home mold free, you won’t have to sweat about it ever again.