Should You Worry About Mold During Drought?
After above normal rainfall through fall and winter, spring has been abnormally dry in Raleigh, NC. It is easy to let your guard down during seasons of drought; however, it is still important to remain vigilant against the development of mold and mildew. We have compiled five tips to help you guard against the mold in your home.
1) Clean Your Home’s Gutters
Mold develops and thrives in moisture. Gutters clogged with debris can trap and hold moisture for a long time. When heavy rains fall during spring and summer thunderstorms, overflow from full gutters will damage siding, roofing, and cause wood fascia and soffit to rot. Additionally, cleaning your gutters will reveal damage and rust that requires repair.
2) Pay Attention to Your Windows
Your windows will tell you a lot about moisture in your home. There are a few things for which to look:
- Condensation inside the window: If your windows are foggy on the inside, your home’s humidity is likely too high. Make sure your HVAC is running properly and often enough to regulate the humidity inside your home.
- Moisture on the window sill: Moisture on the window sill is easy to miss; however, it can lead to the development of mold. Regularly check your window sills for moisture and dry them with a towel.
- Moisture inside the window pane: If moisture has collected inside a window pane, the pane and possibly the window itself will need to be replaced. Otherwise, your home’s energy efficiency will suffer.
- Drafty windows: Drafty windows will cause your home’s energy efficiency to suffer, and make it more difficult for your HVAC system to regulate indoor humidity. Have drafty windows replaced as soon as possible.
3) Examine Your Roofing and Attic
Sagging, damaged, discolored, or missing shingles will lead to roof leaks that often lead to the development of mold. Mold can develop within 48 hours of the occurrence of water damage. The sooner homeowners have roofing repaired, the less likely they are to experience mold.
Even if your roof is in good condition, it is a good idea to look inside the attic for signs of old water damage. Existing water damage may be left behind by previous roof damage or former homeowners. Mold does not require much moisture to cause major problems.
4) Look for Ponding Water
Wood root and siding damage near the foundation of your home may indicate water ponding around your home’s foundation. Crawlspaces and basements are especially susceptible to moisture accumulation. Ponding water can exasperate the humidity under your home, or leak into the crawlspace or basement through small cracks in the walls.
To protect against excess humidity under your house, make sure water drains away from your home’s foundation. Additionally, repair wood rot and damaged siding near your basement or crawlspace.
5) Dehumidify Your Home
Humidity control is a function of your home’s heating and air conditioning system; however, in areas of your home especially susceptible to moisture, single-room dehumidifiers can help fight mold development. Additionally, use fans while showering to help dry moisture in your bathrooms.
These tips will help prevent harmful mold from developing in your home. Like your car, your home requires regular maintenance. Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure small problems do not lead to major projects such as mold remediation. For more information on how to make sure your siding, roofing, doors, and windows are ready for summer, read this article.