Preventing mold growth in your home requires three approaches. You need to prevent mold spores from circulating through your home, reduce moisture which allows spores to grow and have the right tools to easily handle small water damage.
Use High Quality Air Filtration
You can have ambient mold spores inside your home and not notice until you experience a leak, flooding or humidity problems. Air filtration is your best defense against reducing mold formation inside your home. When you are selecting air filters for you home, invest in the highest quality you can afford. Ideally, you should choose filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of five or higher to trap mold and their spores. You should also add individual air filtration devices to the main living areas of your home. If your budget allows, consider having a whole-house air filtration system installed for continuous air filtration. An HVAC contractor can help you decide which filters to get for your home. Check out a site like http://www.alliedairheat.com to find an HVAC company near you.
The humidity inside your home is equally as important as filtration when preventing mold growth. You should constantly monitor the humidity inside your home to determine if it at an acceptable level. You can use whole-home dehumidification to ensure your home is always at the ideal humidity level. If this is not an option, consider smaller units that can be used in major locations of your home. Some dehumidifiers run on electric and you will need a place for the hose to expel water or dump out the collection bin yourself. These are ideal for main areas of your home, such as the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms.
An easier solution for smaller areas, such as the bathroom or closets is to use manual dehumidification methods. Boxes of silica gel are effective at reducing humidity. An indicator on the outside of the box will tell you when it is time to reactivate the silica gel. You typically need to dry out the gel inside your oven to reactivate its moisture-absorbing properties. Since this can be labor-intensive depending on how humid your home is, manual dehumidifiers are best left for smaller areas of your home.
Invest In The Right Tools
You should consider investing in a vacuum able to be used on water alone or on both water and solid debris. Small models are usually affordable for the average household and can become vital in cleaning up small amounts of water in your home. If your household bathtub or sink overflows, you should be able to handle the job quickly and on your own. This can reduce the amount of damage water causes by preventing it from spreading and seeping under flooring materials.
For minor problems, use a hair dryer to help speed up the drying of floors and walls that have been dampened by small leaks or floods. Ideally, you should consider investing in a heat gun, which is capable to running at high heat for longer periods than a hair dryer. When using a heat gun to dry the walls, flooring or other items inside your home, start with the lowest setting and keep your heat gun moving. High heat can cause certain materials to blister, loosen adhesive or scorch materials.
If you have already purchased a small dehumidifier, when it is safe to do so, move it to the area of the recent damage. This will help you absorb additional moisture you cannot absorb or dry on your own. If it is not safe to plug in electrical appliances, just use boxes of silica gel.
Even small amounts of water damage can cause dangerous mold problems. By preventing mold from circulating inside your home and having the right tools available, you can reduce the likelihood of mold growth inside your home.