Mold is a type of fungus found both indoors and outdoors. When mold spores land on moisture, they create spores or tiny, lightweight “seeds” that travel through the air

Mold can cause health problems in people who are allergic to it, have asthma, or, in the case of black mold, in those with otherwise healthy lungs. It is essential to check your home to get rid of mold and prevent it from returning.

Why Does Mold Grow?

Mold is commonly found in indoor and outdoor environments where excess moisture is present. While mold is often considered dirty or harmful, it plays an essential role in the environment by breaking down dead organic matter. Mold typically grows in moist, dark, and warm areas and can multiply if given the right conditions. 

The most common mold types found indoors are Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium, often found in damp basements or bathrooms, near leaks in roofs, windows, and pipes, and where there is water damage from flooding. 

Mold most commonly grows on paper products, ceiling tiles, and any wood, but it can also grow on wallpaper, insulation, carpet, upholstery, fabric, and paint if given the right conditions.

Mold found indoors can damage surfaces and lead to the deterioration of building materials. As a result, it is important to control moisture levels and eliminate mold growth as quickly as possible to avoid health and structural complications.

While mold is not usually harmful, some people may experience burning eyes, skin rash, stuffy noses, or sore throats. For those with respiratory issues or for people with allergies or asthma, it can be a much more severe issue that can cause infections and long-term damage to the lungs.

Preventing Mold Growth

Mold thrives in moist environments. While mold can be beneficial in some situations, such as breaking down dead organic matter, it is never good indoors. You can do several things to prevent mold growth in your home or office. 

  • Keep humidity levels low, ideally between 30 and 50%, but under 60%, at the very least. You can use a dehumidifier to help with this. 
  • Open windows when possible to allow fresh air to circulate. 
  • If you have any leaks, fix them as soon as possible. 
  • If an area of your home does get wet, it is essential to dry it as soon as possible thoroughly. 
  • Don’t run your air conditioner with the windows open, as this can cause condensation and lead to mold growth. 
  • Regularly inspect and maintain your heating and cooling system (HVAC). 

Taking these precautions can significantly reduce the risk of mold growth in your home or office.

Preventing Mold Growth After Floods

After a flood, the first step is to hire a contractor to fix any structural damage. Flood waters can make a building unstable or create a harmful living environment. Before attempting to restore your home, it’s always best to consult a professional to ensure it’s safe.

Hire a mold removal specialist or restoration company, as mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours after water exposure.  These specialists use industrial fans to dry out your home completely. This helps prevent mold from forming or continuing to grow in the future. 

They will then remove any mold in your home by using a variety of cleaning products such as bleach, ammonia (though not mixed), stiff brushes, and soap. If you are helping or doing it yourself, make sure you wear a mask and respiratory gear because mold spores are released into the air when disturbed and can be inhaled. 

Keep in mind that typically only hard surfaces can be salvaged and cleaned.  Porous surfaces such as beds, couches, and rugs may not be adequately cleaned.  FEMA suggests if it has been wet for less than 48 hours, you may be able to clean it properly, but “when in doubt, throw it out.”

Preventing Mold Growth in Bathrooms

The bathroom is one of the most common places in the home for mold and mildew to grow. Preventing mold growth in your bathroom is crucial to maintaining a healthy home. Mold thrives in moist environments, so it’s essential to take steps to prevent moisture buildup and keep your bathrooms mold-free. 

  • Check the caulking around your shower, tub, and sink. If you see any mold, replace the caulking immediately. 
  • Clean your bathroom regularly with a mixture of bleach, vinegar, and baking soda. This kills mold already present and prevents new mold from growing. Make sure to scrub in the tile grout, in drains, and on shower curtains where moisture can hide.
  • Use your bathroom exhaust fan or open the windows after showers and cleaning to allow the air to circulate. 

If you have a severe mold problem, you may need to hire a mold removal specialist to ensure you are eliminating not just the mold but the cause of the problem to avoid a long battle with continual mold growth. 

Preventing Mold Growth in Basements

In many homes, basements are the perfect environment for mold growth. The combination of high humidity and lack of ventilation creates an ideal environment for mold spores to take root and multiply. If left unchecked, mold can cause severe damage to your home and pose a health risk to your family. 

You can take a few simple steps to prevent mold growth in your basement. 

  • Remove any affected insulation and dispose of it properly. 
  • Fix any leaks in your basement promptly to prevent water from seeping in and creating conditions conducive to mold growth. 
  • Monitor water paths from rain and snowmelt to ensure they do not lead into your basement.


How Proper A/C and Ventilation Helps Prevent Mold Growth

Most people know mold needs moisture to grow, but many are unaware of the other conditions mold requires to proliferate. In addition to moisture, mold grows best in temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A good working HVAC system also helps to remove moisture from the air as well as lowering the temperature. 

Because mold spores are found everywhere, all homes have the potential to develop mold growth. However, there are steps that homeowners can take to help prevent mold growth. 

  • Bathroom exhaust fans or open windows should be used after showers to prevent stale air or moisture from accumulating. 
  • During dry weather, open windows to allow for air circulation. 
  • Use an A/C unit to help regulate humidity levels to fight mold growth. 


Assess Your Home Today

Mold can cause serious health problems and damage to your home. To keep your home and family safe, it’s important to take preventative measures today to stop mold from growing, especially in areas like the bathroom and basement, where it is known to thrive. 

If you think you may have a mold problem or if you’ve experienced flooding or water damage, call a mold remediation specialist immediately. Taking these steps can help you create a healthy home and protect your family from the potentially harmful effects of mold. can help you with more tips regarding home improvement.