Tips for Preventing the Growth of Mold and Mildew

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

As the years have passed, new homes have become much tighter and energy efficient than the older homes they have replaced. While this is on the whole a very good advance, it does come with a number of downsides, one of which is the fact that moisture trapped within the tight confines of the energy efficient home can more easily lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Since the trapped moisture has less chance to dissipate, mold and mildew growth can be a bigger problem in newer, more energy efficient homes than in many older, less energy efficient houses.

There are a number of problems that can be caused by the excessive growth of mold and mildew in the home. Some of the problems are merely ascetic, such as an unsightly interior wall or an unusable basement space. Other problems can be more serious, however, and those prone to breathing conditions such as asthma may find mold and mildew a health hazard as well as an unpleasant fact of life.

When it comes to building a new home, the best time to prevent the buildup of mold and mildew is while the home is under construction. A number of new construction materials have been introduced to help combat this growing problem, and it is important for the new homeowner to discuss these mold retarding building solutions with the contractor before work begins on the home.

It is also important for those homeowners to discuss the construction products that will be used in the bathrooms of the home, since bathrooms are a frequent site for mold and mildew problems. The frequent changes in moisture that take place in the bathroom and shower area can greatly increase the chances of mold and mildew formation, so it is important for builders to address these concerns while the house is under construction.

Another important area for homeowners to address with builders is the air treatment system for the home. Air treatment systems can spread mold and mildew from one part of the home to another, and it is important to discuss these concerns with the builder. There are a number of ways builders can make air circulation less prone to mold and mildew problems, including building in air cleaners, humidifiers and other air treatment systems into the heating and cooling system of the home.

In fact, adding an all purpose humidifier is a proven way to control moisture in the air and help reduce the chances of mold and mildew problems. Such a humidifier tends to be more efficient at controlling the humidity level in the air than an air conditioner, and a whole house humidifier is a great way to keep the humidity level in the home steady throughout the seasons. These humidifiers are especially good for keeping the air moist and comfortable during the drier and cooler winter months.

Creating a checklist, and going over that checklist carefully with the builder, is one of the best ways to keep the home cool, comfortable and free of mold and mildew problems. It is much better, cheaper and more efficient to prevent mold and mildew from taking root in a new home than to try to rectify the problem down the road.

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