Here in Minnesota, we wait months and months for Summer to come. We love it. It is the complete opposite of our dreaded winters and means we can finally take trips to the lake every weekend and can swim in the water, not stand on it. 🙂 But, warmer temperatures, rainstorms, and increased humidity also make the perfect environment for mold growth.
Things to know about summer mold:
- It can be found anywhere that is warm and wet. So, bathrooms, under cabinets, basements, baseboards.
- It smells musty. The first sign of mold is gonna be a wet, musty smell and can help you determine if hard-to-find places have mold growth.
- 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature for mold to begin to grow and thrive.
- Relative humidity above 50% creates a prime mold growing environment
So what can you do to prevent mold growth during these months?
Use a Dehumidifier
Placing a dehumidifier in your basement can help keep a normally moist environment drier. If you get water in your basement when it rains, it’s very important to remove that water immediately, or just keep a constantly running de-humidifier to keep the water from sticking around. The longer the moisture stays, the higher the chance mold has to grow and spread. This will help keep your humidity down in your home, despite it being quite high outside.
Check for Window Leaks
A leaky window during the rainy season is a sure-fire way to get water into your window wells and seeping into your walls or onto the floor. After a rainstorm, if you suspect a leaky window seal, check for water or moisture on the inside window well or window frame, and make sure it gets dried immediately. Mold can damage the wood and lead to extremely costly replacements. Windows aren’t cheap!
If you don’t have a powerful fan in your bathroom to remove moisture and humidity, then placing a smaller dehumidifier in your bathroom is going to help a lot. Water can grow under the cabinet, between tiny cracks in the bathtub or shower, and needs to be removed so it doesn’t sit for long periods of time.
Deep Clean Your House
The first step to making sure you can take the proper steps to keep mold out of your home this summer is to do a deep clean of your house. Go through every room and clean the floors, dust the corners, and keep your eyes out for any dark spots, musty smells, or places you think are susceptible to warmth and moisture. A good deep clean at the beginning of summer will set a baseline for your home and you can maintain it throughout the summer and be mindful of any opportune places for mold, and stop it dead in its tracks.
Keep Your House Cool
As we stated, the optimal temperature for mold to thrive is 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The average high temperature in a Minnesota summer is in the mid-80s in the south, and upper-70s in the north. So 77 degrees is smack dab in the middle of that, and it’s basically a guarantee that your home is going to be in that sweet spot at some point. It’s important to keep your house cooler than 77 degrees as much as possible, especially in areas susceptible to mold growth. Run that AC, utilize table and osculating fans, and stay cool!
If left alone, mold can quickly grow and have serious impacts on your health and the structure of your home. Mold can grow as quickly as 24-48 hours, so it’s very important to follow these tips, especially before you head out to the cabin for the weekend or that family vacation you’ve been planning. The last thing you want to do is come home to mold. If you do find yourself in this situation contact us to help with mold remediation to immediately solve the problem and help prevent long-term damage.