The PNW is no stranger to extended periods of rain, especially cities like Portland. A big concern for many homeowners in the City of Roses is mold and mildew, which grows freely anywhere with moisture. Both of these fungi serve a crucial role in our ecosystem, helping to break down organic matter and ultimately enriching the soil. That being said, Mother Nature’s great recycler can be very harmful when it grows inside your home.
The difference between mold and mildew.
You might be wondering, what are the differences between mildew and mold. Mildew is essentially mold in its early stages. While mildew can cause damage to a home, it tends to be more cosmetic. Though Mildew does tend to be less severe than mold, it should be treated as a potential health risk. Mold can grow and spread quickly, causing structural and cosmetic damage.
Serious health issues may arise for those living in a home with mold including respiratory problems, sinus congestion, eye, nose, or throat irritation, and headaches. Infants, children, pregnant women, elderly individuals, and people with existing respiratory conditions are at a higher risk for these problems.
Maintaining a mold free home when you live in the Portland area takes preventative measures, the first being keeping an eye on areas of the home with high humidity or water damage. Have a bathroom without a proper fan or window? How about a pesky leak in the roof or garage? Mildew and mold can grow anywhere; wood, ceilings, drywall, bathroom tiles, and carpet. Growths can begin to develop on damp surfaces within 24 hours to 48 hours, and reproduce through spores which are released into the air.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of pesky mold and mildew, you’re probably wondering how the prevent and treat your home effectively.
The best approach to mold prevention is moisture control. We’ve outlined a few tips to help keep on track:
- Proper ventilation in any room producing moisture and heat. Open a window when cooking, washing dishes, or showering.
- Keep all surfaces dry. Your bathroom and kitchen are prone to damp surfaces.
- Leave your washing machine open between uses to air out.
- Spread towels out after use to help them dry quickly
- Minimize the amount of containers left in the shower for better water circulation.
- Wipe down the shower with a clean towel after use.
- Keep your home clean, wiping surfaces helps prevent mildew
Need help maintaining a regularly cleaned home? Hiring a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning service like Maid to Shine can play a vital role in helping keep you home mold free and safe for you, your family and pets.