Coming back to your summer house after a long absence is often filled with memories, planning, and more often than is realized, potential health concerns. Mold and bacteria thrive in damp, enclosed environments. Homes near forests have a higher risk of developing mold due to a high concentration of mold colonies and high relative humidity. Homes near the ocean, rivers, or lakes can have a high risk as well because the high humidity level raises the development of new mold colonies. Also, buildings that have poor sunlight can have a higher risk because the sun is a natural germicide that helps prevent humidity.
It is impossible to completely eliminate airborne mold. Specialists recommend that steps be taken to reduce airborne microorganisms, not completely exterminate them. Here are some tips to remember when reopening your summer home!
• Reduce humidity in your home by opening windows for approximately thirty minutes daily. Rooms that accumulate humidity such as bathrooms and kitchens, usually have problems with mold because fungi develop in high humidity environments.
• Watch out for Water Leakage! Rooms with water leakage or infiltrations may have mold infection. If the mold infection is in closets, check for leakages from water pipes nearby. When possible, dry and treat water damage within 48 hours.
• Regularly clean places that accumulate humidity. This includes: showers, faucets, pipes, and the floor area around these fixtures.
• Opt out of carpeting. You should limit the carpets in your home as they can trap in mold colonies and other allergens.
• Wash and Dry! Clean surfaces with a solution of one cup of chlorine and one quart of water. Then let the area completely dry and expose it to sunlight when possible. If you allergtic, ask someoelse to doi it for you and make sure this person uses PPE (Personal protective equipment)
Indoor mold growth can heighten the risk for the growth of Stachybotrys, also known as Toxic Black Mold. This type of mold can cause trouble not only for allergy sufferers but can pose problems for anyone.
Enjoy the summer months and your summer home to the fullest with these tips!