A key part of mold prevention includes humidity control. You don’t need something as obvious as a flood or major leak to end up with a mold problem. Moisture buildup from elevated humidity can prove to be equally problematic in terms of mold. Indoor humidity levels should remain somewhere between 30% and 50%. Once your indoor humidity level spikes above 50%, this can become an adequate moisture source to feed existing mold spores. If the elevated humidity is not addressed, with time, the mold will grow and spread into a widespread contamination.
Elevated Humidity & Indoor Mold Growth in Ohio Properties
Mold spores exist all around us. It is a natural part of our environmental. At normal levels, mold is perfectly harmless and normal. However, in the right conditions, existing mold spores can grow and spread. Elevated mold presence becomes problematic because it means serious property damage and potential health implications. With a little know-how, Cleveland homeowners can prevent mold growth and protect their home and family.
The best tactic to preventing mold growth is moisture control. Common sense tells us that major water events like leaks and flooding are serious problems that should be dealt with immediately to prevent significant property damage and prevent mold growth. However, we often fall into the bad habit of overlooking or dismissing less obvious moisture issues like elevated humidity. Elevated humidity means elevated water vapors in the indoor environment. Over time, moisture buildup from elevated humidity can lead to serious issues like property damage and mold growth.
More often than not, we get calls about a mold problem that the homeowner can’t explain. There hasn’t been any noteworthy moisture events– no flooding, no leaks and no water intrusion. There can be seemingly no moisture source, yet mold is growing excessively with so signs of stopping. Sometimes this can be the result of indoor humidity or condensation that the homeowner does not know to be aware of. Moisture concerns of this sort are easy to fix and takes more time to develop into a major issue. However, not only does it often go unaddressed, but it typically goes unaddressed for extended periods of time, which leads to major mold problems that could have easily been avoided.
Tips To Control Indoor Humidity in Cleveland Ohio Homes
Elevated indoor humidity can be an easy fix if a homeowner knows the problem exists and takes the necessary precautions to control indoor humidity.
Proper Ventilation- Homes need to breathe. Ohio building structures are designed to be constantly cycling air in and out. Proper and sufficient ventilation is key to maintaining moisture control and maintaining a healthy indoor air quality. It is important to be strategic when venting your Cleveland home. Run exhaust fans, use ceilings fans, install the proper vents and implement other methods of ventilation when appropriate.
Sufficient Dehumidification- A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air. If your indoor humidity levels seem high, you might want to consider installing a dehumidifier that is properly rated for your specific space. Different spaces have different dehumidification needs so be sure to do your research and find the right one. For example, if you want to put a dehumidifier in your basement, you need a basement specific dehumidifier that is sufficiently rated for the size of your basement.
Clean & De-Clutter- Excess clutter restrict air circulation and allow moisture buildup over time. You should make it a habit to complete a thorough de-clutter at least twice a year. Go through your belongings and see what you can get rid of. It is equally important to organize whatever you plan to keep to optimize airflow.
Maintenance- Regular home maintenance checks allow Cleveland homeowners the opportunity to identify and address potential problems early on, before they get worse. Homeowners should routinely check indoor humidity levels. You can use an instrument known as a hygrometer to monitor the relative humidity in your home. Some hygrometers come with multiple sensors so you can monitor the humidity in several different rooms from one console.
HVAC Use & Maintenance– It is important to keep your air conditioning system clean and thoroughly maintained. Be sure to run your air conditioner during warmer, more humid months. This will help to maintain appropriate indoor humidity levels.
Shut Windows & Doors- During the warmer season like late spring, summer and possibly early fall, Ohio homeowners tend to run air conditioning to maintain a cool and comfortable living space. When you open windows and doors, you let air conditioning escape, waste money, and invite humid air into your cooler, conditioned space.
Bathrooms & Kitchens- Activities such as cooking and bathing put a great deal of moisture into the surrounding environment. Pay especially close attention in these spaces.
- Run exhaust fans and optimize ventilation when possible.
- Open bathroom windows and kitchen windows to optimize air circulation.
- Keep bathroom doors and kitchen doors closed when possible to avoid circulating warm, damp air throughout the rest of the home.
Basements, Crawl Spaces & Attics- Ohio homeowners know that basements, crawl spaces and attics are especially susceptible to dampness, elevated humidity and mold growth. These areas tend to suffer from poor ventilation and insufficient air circulation. If neglected, moisture and mold can wreak havoc in these spaces without notice. You should make it a habit to check for potential humidity issues in ALL areas of the property. Ohio homeowners can play a key role in attic mold prevention, basement mold prevention and crawl space mold prevention.
Mold Removal Cleveland Ohio
If indoor humidity issues have left you with a mold problem, you should consult a mold removal professional in Cleveland OH. A team of mold remediation technicians will have the necessary training and equipment to safely and effectively remove the mold and provide you with the necessary insight to prevent it from growing back.