Mold spores can't grow on dry surfaces. They need damp, wet spots to stick around and build up. Don't let water hang around in your house. Wipe surfaces dry in the shower, clean up spills, and check for condensation on windows.
Inspect ceilings and walls for water bulges or spots. Fix leaks in your roof or plumbing promptly so water doesn't have a chance to feed mold growth.
Be sure the air in your house is flowing well so humidity isn't too high. Turn on fans or air conditioner to help any damp rooms dry out, or open windows for a cross breeze on cool, non-humid days.
When it comes to the wash, it's easy to set it and forget it since it's out of sight, out of mind. But don't let wet clothes linger in the washer. The dark, damp washer drum is a prime spot for mold and mildew to set up shop.
Your bathroom sees regular wetness from shower and bath steam. Use products designed specifically to kill mold when you clean it.
A special moisture-blocking material called a vapor barrier is a great option for keeping dirt floor basements or crawl spaces dry. You can also use heavy roofing paper or polyethylene plastic film.
Both your kitchen and bathroom are great places for exhaust fans that vent to the outside. Instead of letting steam from cooking or bathing stick around to coat walls and cabinets, the fan pulls moist air outside.
A hygrometer is a small handheld device you can buy to measure the amount of moisture in your home's air. The goal is to keep humidity as low as you can -- ideally below 50% -- all day.
When liquid spills on tacked-down carpets, it can be hard to get them dry. If your carpet gets soaked, you may need to remove it. Switch to area rugs where you can, especially in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen where moisture is higher.
See signs of a leak in your ceiling, or condensation forming on your windows or pipes? Tackle the problem ASAP. The longer moisture lingers, the more likely mold is to grow.
You can mix mold-blocking substances into paint to help create a barrier on surfaces as you coat them. This is especially helpful in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-moisture areas.
Pipes are prone to condensation, especially when they're colder than the air around them. One way to combat this is by wrapping your pipes in foam or insulation to help keep moisture from forming.
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- EPA: "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home."
- CDC: "You Can Control Mold."
- University of Missouri Extension: "How to Prevent and Remove Mildew — Home Methods."