Spring is the season of new growth. The grass is growing again, flowers a jetting out of the ground, and trees are budding. In Minnesota, this also means the last of the snow is melting (or still falling, depending on the day) and ice-covered lakes and rivers are exposed again. All this extra moisture has the opportunity to grow more than just new plants.
Now is the season that homeowners need to be especially wary of mold growth. It comes down to one simple equation: control the moisture in your home, and you’ll control the mold.
Start by Giving Your Home a Deep Clean
Winter collects more than just dust in your home. Start by clearing your home–inside and out–of debris and excess.
- Clear debris and leaves from gutters
- Change filters in your A/C, vacuum, dryer vents, etc.
- Fix plumbing leaks immediately
- Wipe off condensation from windows or plumbing
- Install a vent in your bathroom for after shower condensation
- Use kitchen vents or open windows when cooking
- Watch indoor plants for signs of mold growth in the soil (they may need to be repotted)
Should you find minor mold growth in your home, you can remove it yourself using a bleach solution. Anything that might be extensive should be taken care of by a professional mold removal specialist. For one, inhaling mold is dangerous and unless you are trained to do it properly, you shouldn’t risk your health. Secondly, mold can cause major damage to the structure of your home. When removing mold, you want to be certain you got it all.
Control the Humidity Levels in Your Home
During the winter, many people use humidifiers to compensate for the dry air. As the air becomes more humid naturally, you should invest in a dehumidifier for damp areas in your home, such as the basement, entryways, or near drafty windows and doors.
It’s best to maintain a moisture level between 30 to 50 percent. Anything above that will foster mold growth. You might also consider upgrading your HVAC system, as many of the new controls help keep the humidity levels in your home at an optimal range.
If you want to get a true gauge of your home’s performance, consider an Energy Audit from RetroGreen Energy. From air leakage to heat patterns, you can discover how much of your home is truly connected to the outdoors.