Tips for Preventing Mold and Mildew

Mold in your home or apartment is a serious challenge and should not be ignored!  Created by a combination of moisture and inattentive cleaning, mold grows in kitchens, bathrooms, walls, ceilings and any place dampness is left unchecked.  The Northwest is a prime breeding ground for mold with its long, wet winters.  Mold can cause big health problems in some people, so don’t ignore it.  Prevention is easier than removal, so here are a few tips for keeping mold from taking hold where you live.

10 Tips to a Mold Free Home

  1. Mold spores are too tiny to see and can only grow when they land in moist places, so the key is to keep things clean and dry.
  2. Ventilation is important. Use fans in the kitchen and bathroom, even running them longer than you are in the room so the air clears of dampness. It may take 15 minutes to get the steam out after a shower or when you boil water on the stove.
  3. If you hang your wet coat in a closet, it can create a breeding ground for mold. If you’ve been out in the rain, hang your clothes in the bathroom and turn on the fan until they are dry.  Don’t put away your laundry wet.
  4. Mold likes to grow in garbage cans. Keep them clean and empty them often.
  5. Mold will grow in the refrigerator. Throw out old food regularly and clean the shelves.
  6. Wash your shower curtain every 2 months. Clean the shower thoroughly at least once a week.
  7. Open your windows in nice weather, but don’t let rain come inside. Mold likes window sills and can grow in your houseplants. Put water catchers beneath plants, don’t over-water them, and check the soil for anything suspicious.
  8. Some molds can grow on wood, paper and carpets, so whenever things get wet, find a way to dry them and prevent future problems. Don’t hoard newspapers or old mail and don’t stack things so no ventilation can get through.
  9. If you find a water leak anywhere in your building, whether it’s in the ceiling, coming from pipes, leaking through a wall or a floor, let your property manager know right away so maintenance can be done before a larger problem has developed.
  10. Windermere offers a “mold” kit with cleaning instructions. Drop by our office to pick one up if needed.

Below are two excellent online resource from the EPA with mold and mildew information.