I woke up this morning to the sound of rain on my window. From the inside, it can be a peaceful way to wake up in the morning. The problem isn’t till after the rain stops. Depending on your home, the building materials that holds up your property could be soaked. This can be caused by hidden leaks or an increase in the humidity. Either way, if you find water, the mold isn’t far behind.
Mold only requires two things to survive. An organic food source, and water. As mold can survive on the most minimal amount of food source, and by nature is commonly found everywhere, the only thing slowing mold growth is the presence of a wet, damp area. Usually, this isn’t a problem but with a little rain, and a few hidden leaks, you may have a mold problem on your hands. On that note, let’s break down five ways to prevent mold growth after rain.
#1: Dry up all the visible water in the house.
Seems simple enough, but very important and often neglected. As soon as the rain ends, look for any household items or surfaces that are wet. This can be from carpet, furniture, to clothes. Mold can’t grow without moisture so drying the items is an effective way to prevent mold growth. Make sure if you plan on drying out clothes to dry them out in a well-ventilated area (I would suggest outside, but I am assuming everything is wet since it just finished raining).
#2: Use proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup
Usually, if it’s raining, the windows and doors are all closed. This may be effective to hold the heat in and prevent water from getting in, but you are also helping the mold inside your home. With everything closed, your home will have little ventilation to move the air around. To top that off, during cold weathers (which there is a good chance if it was raining) the air is less likely to hold moisture. That means the moisture will have to settle on surface areas found in the home. Combo this with an uncirculated home, and you can create the perfect environment for mold. Let fresh air in or increase circulation to help prevent moisture buildup. This can be done by opening the windows, fans, or the HVAC system (Make sure the HVAC system is dry and clean, or else it could be adding to the problem)
#3: Look for water stains for signs of leaks
Another simple but important step to prevent mold growth. Look around your home and see if you can find any leaks or wet spots. This is your one chance to see if you have one. Early signs of leak issues can help identify cracks in the roof, exposed areas in your home, and potential mold sites. Early detection can help prevent a simple problem from becoming an expensive remediation. If there is a leak and it is left unnoticed (as when it stops raining, you will no longer see the leak), a section of the interior can be left damp in a closed environment. This is the best scenario for mold growth, and as it is in the hidden part of the house, can grow to dangerous levels before anyone notices it. Early detection of potential leaks or water stains is the easiest, cheapest method to prevent an expensive mold removal process.
#4: Disinfect suspected wet spots
If a surface area has been wet, and you suspect that there might be mold growth, disinfect the area to prevent mold growth. This step isn’t a guarantee as spores can be found anywhere. This is more of a late step for when you suspect that mold is already growing. You can always disinfect surface areas that you originally dried in the first step, but it isn’t always necessary. Possible Disinfect that can be used ranges from how likely mold is already growing. The preferred method is concentrated bleach, but as a homeowner, you don’t want to start pouring bleach all over your home. Regular disinfect should do the trick if no visible signs are present and you are just concerned. If visible signs are present, bleach is only recommended in small quantities of mold (a Q-tip size of mold). Mold growth on a large scale can be hazardous, and it is recommended that you call a professional to remove it. Though with proper prevention, we hopefully won’t have to go to that step.
This list is a quick to do guide for when the rain stops. There are other methods you can apply to prevent Mold growth, but this is for the immediate response after it rains outside. Overall, keep your home well ventilated and dry if possible. It is okay to have a humidifier, so the air isn’t too dry but try not to exceed humidity over 50%. If you’re not sure if you have mold in your home, or the methods you are applying are preventing mold growth, contact an expert mold inspection company to see how they can help. A lot of the questions can be a quick fix over the phone.