As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. When you make the discovery that you’ve got mold growing and thriving in your home, it’s far too late to start thinking in terms of prevention. If you never want to have to deal with the time consuming and expensive problem of mold removal, you’ve got to be proactive, and start taking steps now to prevent it from ever becoming a problem in the future.
There are a number of things you can do to prevent a mold colony from establishing a foothold in your home, but three things rise above the rest in terms of their overall effectiveness. If you take the following three steps, you’ll vastly diminish the chances of ever having to contend with a mold infestation.
Invest In Preventive Plumbing Maintenance
Most service contractors offer preventive maintenance plans, plumbers included. These plans see you paying a nominal annual fee, for which, you get a professional out to your home several times a year to perform a comprehensive inspection and fix problems or potential problems while they’re still small and inexpensive, saving you big sums of cash in the long run, because this plan sees you avoiding most of the major repair bills you would otherwise have faced. If a plumber can spot a slow leak in a pipe before it bursts, the damage is minimized, and so is your risk of a mold infestation.
Monitor in-Home Humidity Levels
If the humidity inside your home is greater than 50%, conditions are favorable for a mold colony to establish itself. If this is the case, you should seriously consider investing in a whole-house dehumidifier. Dealers in that kind of equipment can help you get a unit that’s properly sized for the square footage of your home, and the average humidity level in the area of the country you live in.
If you’re willing to spend extra, you can get big, robust machines that come with condensate pumps built-in, meaning that they empty their condensate tanks automatically. If you’re on a budget, you can still get a perfectly acceptable unit, but you’ll have to either run a gravity fed drain hose to a suitable drain to get rid of the water extracted from the air, or empty the fill bucket periodically. Don’t worry, machines that see you manually emptying the bucket have sensors to detect when the bucket is nearly full, and the unit will automatically shut off to prevent spillage. Note too that most of these units have built-in, digital humidistats, allowing for precise monitoring and control over the humidity level in your home.
Remember that mold spores are often airborne, and if you want to minimize your chances of a mold colony taking root, then you’ll want to not only control the humidity in your home, but also pull as many of the mold spores from the air as you can. Fortunately, a properly sized air filtration and purification system can do just that. Equipped with quality MERV or HEPA filters, these devices have a number of increasingly fine filters arranged in sequence to trap successively smaller particles, including mold particles. Running one of these machines in tandem with a whole-house dehumidifier will go a long ways toward minimizing your mold risk. Note that if you’re willing to spend the money, some dehumidifiers come with an air filtration system. You’ll pay a premium for the combined functionality, but save in the end, because you’re buying one device, and not two.
Remember, no matter how careful or prepared you are, disaster could still strike. Your home could still be flooded, or your roof damaged during a storm or something, which could open the door for a mold colony to take root. In those cases, quick, decisive action will spare you the worst of it, but the three strategies mentioned above will help ensure that about the only time you’ll ever have to worry about mold colonies trying to take over your home have to do with things beyond your ability to control.