Some houses are better at growing mold than others. And by 'better', of course we mean that these houses grow lots of mold whether or not the owners want them to.
Mold on the bathroom grout, mold on the window sills. Clothes that constantly smell of mildew if they are left damp or in the washer for any length of time. Even the bread in your house may get moldy way faster than you've seen happen in any other house you've ever lived in.
This is because there are certain things about a house that make mold grow more or less well. Houses that have these features are more likely to grow mold (on everything) and houses with many mold-friendly features are -- naturally -- more encouraging for mold growth.
The good news is that if you live in an unusually mold-prone house, you can actually improve your house to improve the mold situation. And you don't even have to remodel.
Today, we're here to talk about five ways to strongly discourage mold from growing in your house. No matter how enthusiastically or regularly it seems to crop up.
What Mold Needs to Grow
To understand the battle against mold, first look into what causes mold to grow. Mold is actually a plant that spreads with tiny spores that are dust-sized. Usually too small to see, and there are always millions of them floating in the air. All over the world.
These tiny plant spores need a porous surface to land on and water to drink. They like warm, dark places with moist air and natural fibers to eat. But mold will grow anywhere with enough moisture.
- Damp Surfaces
- Moist Air
- Porous Surface (fabric, grout, wood, drywall)
- Dry Air
- Soap (bleach)
- Acid (vinegar or lemon)
- Sharp Particles (borax)
- Fungicides (tea tree, cloves, thyme, etc.)
1) Replace Your Bathroom Fan
Bathroom fans are installed when the house is built, and then probably never replaced. But if you've ever owned a desk or floor fan, you know that they eventually get gummy, linty, and wear out. Chances are that your bathroom fan just can't cut it anymore when it comes to carrying steam out of the bathroom to keep the room (and the rest of the house) dry.
Replacing your bathroom fan is a handyman job, but a simple one. With this one upgrade, you can seriously reduce the amount of mold-encouraging moisture in the air. Both in the bathroom and the entire house.
2) Use a Dehumidifier
Of course, sometimes you can't help the fact that your house is humid. You may live in a misty valley or a humid coastal area where there is always a high percentage of water hanging in the local air. Which means you likely share your mold troubles with neighbors who face a similar home-moisture problem.
While you may have found that running the heater or AC can help dry out your air, a dehumidifier is a much more efficient and affordable solution. A dehumidifier is exactly the opposite of a humidifier. Instead of vaporizing water out of a tank, it condenses water out of the air and fills a tank. This pulls moisture directly out of your home air even if humidity is a constant battle in your geographic region.
3) Upgrade Your Air Filter
Another part of the problem is the number of mold spores in the air. Each spore has a chance of landing on a moist surface and beginning to grow. Areas with fewer spores in the air also tend to have less of a mold problem. And if any mold is growing in your house, more spores are being released constantly.
Like ambient humidity, you can't stop your local region from having a lot of mold spores. But you can reduce the spores inside your house, and you don't even need a new appliance. Your home already filters the air that is pumped through the air system, even when you are only using the 'vent/fan' setting. But you may be limited by the quality (and age) of your air filter.
Try investing in a new high-quality air filter like the Dust Goblin, which will collect every single mold spore that passes through your AC intake register. Sucking those mold spores right out of your home air so they can't land or grow on a single thing.
4) Vinegar and Borax
Finally, you'll want to scrub away any mold that's still around when you're making these changes. The final way to scare mold away from your home and possessions is to use a combination of vinegar-water and water-soap-borax solutions. Vinegar and borax both kill mold and make it harder for mold to come back to items cleaned with these substances.
Vinegar is a mild acid, which burns the organic mold particles and prevents them from spreading. Borax is a mineral (like calcium or salt) that is very sharp on a molecular level. These sharp little borax crystals pierce the organic cells of mold, killing it. At the same time, borax is also a 'detergent enhancer', which means that it increases the power and sudsiness of soap when used together with soap and water.
So wipe everything down with vinegar or borax solutions and wash everything cloth in the house with a sprinkle of borax added to the detergent. this will help kill mold and keep it gone. If you have a recurring mold problem, use borax and vinegar as part of your regular cleaning routine.
Mold is a scourge to modern households and has been for thousands of years. For as long as we have woven cloth and build houses, mold has tried to eat it down. Which makes sense, it's nature's "cleaning crew" for things like dead trees and plants. Our houses and clothes just also happen to be made of dead trees and plants.
As a sentient, intuitive human, you have the power to fight back against nature's forces of decay and kick mold out of your house once and for all. Even if it keeps wanting to come back. With better ventilation, a powerful air filter, and a new approach to cleaning, you should be mold-free in no time. For more home cleaning and air quality insights, contact us today!