Having your home invaded by mold is bad enough when it happens once. But when it becomes a recurring problem, it can be downright miserable. If you've got mold that keeps coming back, one possible culprit is that your house is just too humid.
If you think your house might be excessively humid, look for other signs; besides noticing that the air inside feels sticky or humid, you may also see condensation on the interior side of windows or notice that it often feels hotter inside your home than the actual temperature.
But before you run out and buy a dehumidifier, there are some other methods you can try first to keep the humidity down. In fact, even if you have a dehumidifier, you can still use these methods to reduce how much you need to use it.
Open Your Windows
One good way to lower the humidity in your home is to increase the ventilation. Opening the windows allows air to move through your home, carrying moisture away with it. This is especially important after taking a bath or shower as well as when cooking with large amounts of water, such as when simmering stew or making soup.
Along with opening the windows, ceiling fans can help circulate air within the home. And if your kitchen or bathroom have ventilation fans, running them will also reduce humidity, especially if those rooms lack windows.
Look For Leaks
Leaky pipes inside the home can lead to excess water inside, and that water in turn evaporates and raises the humidity. Dripping taps are the easiest type of leak to notice, but you should check hidden pipes behind walls or in the basement as well. In addition, if any of these leaks are over a porous surface such as wood, the water soaking into the material can become a haven for mold.
Run Your Air Conditioner
If you have an air conditioner, then you already have a type of dehumidifier. When your air conditioner runs, it pulls heat out of the air inside your home, carries that heat outside, and releases it into the outside air. When it pulls heat out of the air inside, one side effect is that the cooled air can't hold as much moisture; the excess condenses into water and drains outside. So don't feel guilty about running your air conditioner in hot weather; you're also dehumidifying your home.
What If You Still See Mold?
If the mold is on a non-porous surface such as bathroom tile, you can clean it up yourself with bleach and water. Mold on porous surfaces, like carpets and wood, or on structural areas, like walls, ceilings, and floors, is a more serious problem. When you see mold on the surface of a porous material, you are only seeing part of the problem; it's very likely that mold is also growing within the pores, deep inside the material.
If this is the case – or if for any reason you aren't successful dealing with the mold yourself – then it's time to call a mold removal company. They will have the expertise as well as the specialized equipment necessary to get rid of a stubborn mold problem.