When summer plans are in full effect, it can seem like you hardly pay attention to the home itself – until you find mold. Though it’s probably been growing there on some level year-round, unfortunately, mold thrives in the summertime just as much as we do. Suddenly, your plans come to a screeching halt as you try to identify the mold and its cause.
We offer some expert tips on how to prevent mold growth in summer and keep it from taking hold of your home.
Is Mold Worse in the Summer?
Yes, mold grows more easily in the hot summer months – especially when it’s also humid. Along with a dark place, you have the perfect storm for the unmitigated growth of mold. It’s important to inhibit mold growth as the mold spores themselves can cause a variety of health problems for your family. When you breathe in mold spores, you may experience allergy symptoms like a runny nose, coughing, difficulty breathing, and headaches. Prolonged exposure can result in these reactions becoming more severe. But it doesn’t have to happen in the first place with a few key preventative tips.
In general, the most important thing is to eliminate these three main factors as much as possible:
Does Keeping AC on Prevent Mold?
Your air conditioner definitely can help prevent summer mold growth by reducing heat and lowering humidity. It’s best to set your AC to keep your home between 68° and 72° Fahrenheit during the summer – and if you have a humidity tester, use the AC enough to make the humidity level fall below 50%. Just be sure your AC and its filters are clean.
What Can Stop Mold From Growing?
Aside from keeping the building cool, there are several other straightforward actions you can take to drastically reduce or practically eliminate summer mold growth. Apply all of these tips, and you can help prevent mold growth throughout the summer.
Maintain Proper Air Circulation
Keeping air circulating goes a long way in maintaining drier air indoors. Have your HVAC system routinely checked for condensation that can build up with cooler temperatures. During showers, open or crack the window and run the bathroom fan until it’s totally dry. Don’t hesitate to direct a fan towards wet, absorbent surfaces anywhere in the home to dry it as thoroughly as possible. You should also spend a few minutes from time to time to ensure your clothes dryer is venting completely outside the house.
Close Your Windows When it Rains
It can be tempting to crack open the windows during a peaceful, cool summer rain, but it could welcome mold into your home. The rainwater can easily get into the crevices around the window frame, and when it does, it’s not an area that dries easily. If water does make its way into the window frame, dry it as well as possible and point a fan at the wet spots. Fans on tall stands with adjustable angled joints are excellent for this. Keep an eye out for any failed seals around the windows that may be allowing rainwater in when closed, as well.
Ensure Your Roof is Sealed
Watching for leaks in your roof is extremely important, too. Many roofing companies offer free inspections and you should keep an eye out for curling or missing shingles. Also, periodically check for any signs of leaks on the highest interior ceilings. Asphalt roofs are only designed to last around 20 years or so, even with minimal weather events. If you see a lot of shingle grit coming down your drain pipes, it may be time to look into a new roof.
Make Note of Humid Areas in Your Home
Note any musty smell, which is most often a sign of mold. Always address any humid areas of the house as you notice them, especially out-of-the-way areas you don’t often see. Bathrooms and kitchens are obvious places to watch closely, and you should dry wet areas just as fast as you would clean up a spill. The EPA states that the best way to control mold is to control moisture, and you can invest in a hydrometer to test the relative humidity of the house, ensuring that it’s below 50%.
Don’t Wait to Get Mold Testing this Summer
These tips will prove essential to preventing mold from taking hold in the summer months. It’s well worth the extra effort spent here and there to not have to call for mold removal, but in the event that you discover mold growth, we’re here for you with the most expert and efficient mold-testing services in the midwest. If you notice any signs of mold, it’s crucial to let us test it as early on as possible.
St. John Environmental Consulting has been providing mold, asbestos, and lead testing services for over 20 years. If you think you have mold somewhere in your Missouri or Illinois home, give us a call and we’ll help you get your place back to normal in no time.