As the summer comes to an end and the weather starts to change, most homeowners are preparing their properties for a cold wet winter ahead. Winterizing your home means more than putting away the lawn furniture and bagging the fallen leaves; it’s a time to prepare and protect your home against the elements that contribute to moisture intrusion and ultimately: Mold. Here are some tips from The Mold Guy to help you avoid a mold issue from surfacing this rainy season.
Keep your home clean and dry.
Mold thrives in wet, dirty conditions so naturally the first defense a homeowner has is to keep a home free of dirt and wet organic material. Some small steps you can take are when you see condensation accumulating on the windows, dry them. The moisture will sit on the wood frame or run down the drywall inevitably causing a mold issue. Clean the rubber seal of a front loading washing machine and keep the door open after use to dry. Avoid using cardboard aka “water sponges” for storage and opt for plastic storage bins with lids.
Measure humidity using a Hygrometer.
Keep the humidity in your home between 45-55%. Water particles in the air cling to the walls, dirt clings to the water particles thus creating the ideal environment for mold growth. Using a dehumidifier can remove excess moisture in the air. Open your windows to equalize the space.
Prevent leaks and floods.
Reduce the risk of having your pipes freeze in below zero-degree temperatures by ensuring they are insulated. Clean out leaves and debris from your eavestroughs after the leaves fall to ensure they function as intended; also verify the downspout is long enough to deter rain water and snow melt off away from the structure. If your foundation is found to be cracked and allowing ground water to enter, install weeping tile or sump pump to move water away from the foundation.
Promote good air flow.
Check the intake/soffit vents around the perimeter of your home are clear of insulation, also have a roofer inspect to ensure there is adequate venting in the attic. Open the windows or use the exhaust fan while cooking and showering to release moist air.
Inspect your dwelling.
On a cold winter morning look on the underside of the roof sheathing for frost. Make sure the seal on your attic hatch is tight to avoid attic air from entering your home. Ensure insulation in the attic is of good quality and quantity. Verify that your exhaust duct work is insulated and venting to the exterior of the home. Check your plumbing regularly to detect any leaks, and if found, shut off the water to avoid further water damage.
If all else fails… Act quickly by calling The Mold Guy.