This is another post in our series about mold. (See our other posts: How to Clean Moldy Caulking, Top 5 Tips to Prevent Mold in Showers, How to Clean a Moldy Shower Curtain, and How To Clean Mold in Your Home.)
What do you do if you have cleaned away mold but it keeps coming back? You may want to check to see what your relative humidity is in your home. It may be too high.
According to the CDC “controlling moisture in your home is the most critical factor for preventing mold growth.” You can monitor the level of humidity in your home with a simple electronic device called a hygrometer. They are inexpensive (the one below costs less than $20) and can be purchased online or at home improvement stores such as Lowe’s, The Home Depot, and Menards.
pictured on the left: Acu-Rite Home Comfort Monitor
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a relative humidity level between 30%-50%. In the summer months, when you are running an air conditioner, the relative humidity should be between 40%-50% for optimal comfort. In the winter months, when you are running your heater, the relative humidity may need to be lower than 40% (in the 30%-40% range) to prevent condensation on windows. Lower than 30% is too dry; higher than 50% is too moist.
If you discover your humidity level is too high (such as 62% in the picture above to the left) you need to do something to get to the root cause of the moisture. Start by checking for any leaky pipes. Also make sure there is proper ventilation in your kitchen and especially in the bathroom. Running a dehumidifier or regulating your humidistat will take the moisture out of the air. For more information on controlling moisture in your home, check out this article by the EPA.
For more information read Protect Yourself from Mold by The Centers for Disease Control. For serious mold problems, consult a mold remediation expert.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have moisture or mold problems in your home? Have you tried monitoring relative humdity? Please leave a comment below.
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