Especially for Midwesterners, nothing feels better than to finally be rid of the snow! As we look forward to the warmer temperatures for the next 6 months, the forecast shows a lot of rain heading our way. While many individuals prefer this over snow, heavy rain and thunderstorms are associated with a lot of risks and potential damages to your property; this is also the time of year for mold to thrive. The areas within the home that are most prone to mold include: the attic, basement, bathrooms, behind the walls, crawlspaces, and more. However, there are a number of simple steps you can take to ensure that your property does not host the perfect breeding grounds for the spores to develop.
Learn how to prevent mold this spring with these cleaning tips:
- Maintain a dry basement. Inspect the area for leaks, water damage, or any areas containing condensation. Is the area behind the washing machine dry? Is there a pool of water underneath the water heater? Are there leaking pipes within the walls? If so, make sure these areas are dried and have the water damage restored as soon as possible.
- Decrease the humidity. Naturally, the air will become more saturated during the rainy seasons. At this time, aim to keep the humidity levels below 45%. To do this, turn on the air conditioning unit or dehumidifiers, allow for proper air circulation in the bathroom, and use exhaust fans when you are cooking, cleaning, or running the dishwasher.
- Prevent condensation. Throughout the winter, any water that comes into contact with materials would freeze. But now that we are facing warmer temperatures, they will create condensation on the building materials, including: windows, framing, pipes, and exterior walls. To prevent mold growth from occurring, ensure that they are properly insulated.
- Keep the textiles dry. This includes bedding, clothes, curtains, and especially the shower curtain. Advise everyone within the home to pull the shower curtain across the bathtub to allow all the water to dry effectively. Any damp towels left on the floor must be washed and dried thoroughly. If you spot any white spots or darker stains on the window curtains, be sure to wash them as well.
- Replace the HVAC filter. This should be done at least once every three months; however, if you notice a musty smell throughout your home, the current filter may contain mildew. In order to prevent mold growth, monitor the HVAC unit to ensure it does not contain any moisture.
- Scrub the Deck. Now you know why pirates always scrub the deck in movies – to prevent mold growth (they are always out on the ocean). In addition, the wood used to build the deck contains cellulose, also known as an organic food source for mold. When combined with moisture, it will only be a matter of time before you notice mold and mildew. Just be sure to clean the deck thoroughly after it rains.
- Schedule a Professional Carpet Cleaning. During the springtime, wet shoes will carry in a lot of water, mud, and other debris that will become embedded within the fibers. To prevent this, you will want to remind your kids to always take their shoes off when coming inside. But even spills and other accidents can happen; therefore, spring is the best time of the year to schedule a professional carpet cleaning
- Prevent pools around the foundation. While this may sound like a big project in the beginning, it will definitely pay off in the long run. When the ground slopes away from the foundation, water will travel away from the property, instead of sinking underneath it. This can prevent future flooding, leaks, and mold growth in the future.
Hire a Professional to Clean Mold
While taking these steps now can save a lot of time and energy in the future to clean mold, sometimes it is discovered before it can be prevented. When this happens, you should never try to clean it yourself. Because there are many different types, some are more dangerous than others, including black mold; therefore, it should always be cleaned by a professional. ServiceMaster by Metzler is available for mold remediation services in the northwestern Chicago suburbs as well as the city of Chicago. If you do not live within this area, you can also contact your local ServiceMaster for professional mold removal services near you.