Simply mention the word “mold” and you’ll likely spark a skittish apprehension in most home and business owners. Its presence, blamed frequently for allergies and respiratory concerns, sometimes unseen and too often unaddressed, can be found almost anywhere and can spread quickly (sometimes within 48 hours or less).
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold can grow on just about any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. This common combination can spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e in any building.
While mold damage remediation is possible, stopping mold from ever growing is no doubt your most cost-effective solution. By controlling the moisture that causes mold, damage can be prevented.
Follow these five tips to solve moisture problems before they turn into something bigger:
- Fix leaky plumbing immediately. A slow leak or a broken, gushing pipe — either can quickly result in mold problems if left unattended.
- Clean drip pans and make sure they are unobstructed.
- Reduce the moisture level in the air by increasing ventilation (if outdoor air is dry) or by dehumidifying (if outdoor air is moist).
- Maintain low indoor humidity. The EPA suggests that relative humidity be below 60 percent (ideally 30 to 50 percent).
- Make it a regular practice to schedule building/HVAC maintenance in commercial buildings. Homeowners should also check their properties every few months to make sure everything is in good working order.