Removing Excess Moisture in the Home to Prevent Mold Growth

In the warm, humid climate of Florida, mold can quickly become a homeowner's worst nightmare. This insidious intruder thrives in damp environments, quietly damaging property and posing significant health risks. The key to keeping your home mold-free lies in managing moisture effectively. By understanding and controlling the factors leading to moisture buildup, you can protect your home and health from the dangers of mold.


Why Preventing Mold Growth Is Important


Mold needs moisture to thrive. When the humidity level in your home exceeds 60%, mold spores can settle and grow on various surfaces, from walls to furniture. The Florida Department of Health goes a step further, recommending you keep your indoor humidity below 50% to help control both mold growth and dust mites (which can trigger an allergic reaction in some people). Mold can cause significant and costly damage to your home and personal property – as well as lead to respiratory issues, allergies, and even more severe health problems.


Identify Sources of Moisture


The first step in preventing mold growth is identifying potential sources of moisture. Common culprits include leaky roofs, plumbing issues, and poor ventilation. Inspect your home regularly for signs of water damage or leaks. Pay attention to musty odors, water stains, and peeling paint, as these can indicate hidden moisture problems.


How to Remove Excess Moisture, Water in Home


By using the following recommendations, you can significantly reduce the risk of mold growth and keep your home a healthy, happy place to live. Don’t let mold take over your home – do something about it now to ensure your living environment remains clean and safe.


1. Fix Leaks Promptly


Leaks require immediate attention. Anytime there is water in home areas where organic material (wood, paper, cloth, etc.) is present, mold won’t be far behind. Repair leaky roofs, windows, and plumbing fixtures as soon as you detect a problem. Regular maintenance checks can prevent minor leaks from becoming major mold problems.


2. Use Dehumidifiers


Dehumidifiers are a powerful tool in the fight against mold, especially over the summer months, when it is hottest and most humid in Florida. Dehumidifiers work by removing excess moisture from the air, helping you maintain an optimal indoor humidity level. According to the Mayo Clinic, humidity in the home should be kept somewhere between 30% and 50%. Place dehumidifiers in bathrooms, the kitchen, and anywhere moisture collects or where water in home results in spills. You may also wish to consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier system.


3. Improve Ventilation


Proper ventilation is key to reducing moisture. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to expel humid air. Open windows and doors when weather permits to increase airflow, including opening doors between rooms in the home. Move furniture away from walls and room corners. Fans and your air conditioner can also help you control indoor humidity levels. Make sure your HVAC system is regularly serviced and air filters are periodically replaced in the home.


For areas of the home where mold is most likely to grow, such as bathrooms, increase ventilation and more regularly clean and disinfect those areas to keep mold growth at bay. Use mold-inhibiting cleaners for an added layer of protection.


4. Use Moisture-Absorbing Materials


Certain materials can help absorb moisture in enclosed spaces. This includes commercial moisture-absorbing products (e.g., DampRid, Moso Natural Air Purifying Bags) or DIY concoctions, like placing a small bowl of baking soda or rock salt (sodium chloride) where you want to help remove moisture/water in home air. These moisture-absorbing materials are especially effective in closets, cabinets, and other contained areas. These materials can be found at most home improvement stores or from online retailers. There are even certain plants good at absorbing moisture in the home!


5. Dry Wet Areas Immediately


Any water spills or flooding should be addressed immediately. Dry affected areas within 24-48 hours to prevent mold from taking hold. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows to speed up the drying process. Clean and disinfect whatever got wet. Throw out anything you can’t completely dry or clean (e.g., rugs, carpeting, microfiber furniture).


6. Keep Gutters Clean


Clean gutters ensure water flows away from your home, preventing leaks and water damage. Regularly remove leaves, dirt, and debris from gutters and downspouts. Ensure rainwater is directed away from your home’s foundation.


Handling Existing Mold


If mold is already present in your home, simply eliminating moisture in the home isn’t enough. Mold must be physically removed because even inactivated mold can become active again when the moisture/water in home comes into contact with the mold spores. For small areas, you can clean mold with water and detergent. Use a 50/50 mix of ammonia and water or add 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water – but never mix ammonia and bleach, as this can create poisonous fumes. Ensure the area is completely dry afterward.


While there are many steps you can take to control moisture and prevent mold, sometimes professional help is necessary. A professional can provide a thorough inspection and recommend tailored solutions for your home. They can also help with severe mold infestations and ensure your home is safe and mold-free. As an Edison policyholder, you have access to our team of vetted preferred vendors who can assist with water extraction and mold mitigation services – simply call us first.


Protect Your Home Against Mold, Water in Home


Preventing mold growth is essential for maintaining a healthy and safe home environment. By controlling moisture levels, fixing leaks, and improving ventilation, you can protect your home from the damaging effects of mold.


At Edison Insurance Company, we understand the importance of protecting your home from all types of damage, including mold. Contact your agent today to learn more about how we can help you safeguard your home. If you’re not yet insured with us, get an online quote now. Your home is your haven – and we can help you protect it. 

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