Among the many problems associated with wet weather, mold growth can be the most persistent and the most difficult to eliminate. Mold can exacerbate allergies and asthma, and in some cases it can even create new ones. It often originates in the basement and works its way up, but damp, dark conditions can allow mold to proliferate on any organic surface, from soil to leather. In extreme cases, you’ll need to bring in the professionals, but there are several steps you can take to eliminate existing mold or at least prevent mold growth in the future.
High levels of humidity will make mold growth increase exponentially. New dehumidifiers are quite efficient, but if you are concerned about more than one room or have a large home, you may want to invest in several refurbished dehumidifiers, as this would be more cost-effective. If you do your research, you should be able to find refurbished dehumidifiers that are only a year or two old.
Any ventilation system is subject to dust build-up, particularly in the vents. Dust is composed of organic matter, including mold spores, and when it gets into your ventilation, it essentially has a direct line to any room in your house. Clean any dust off manually. If you are concerned with the functionality of your ventilation, this would also be a good time to invest in a new or refurbished air conditioner. Also check your windows to make sure they have airtight seals. This will keep moisture out and prevent air from escaping.
Check Wooden Furniture
An airtight seal of paint or varnish should deter mold growth on wooden home furniture, especially if it was pretreated to repel water. Antique furniture is another story, particularly if you are storing it in your basement or attic to prevent sun damage. If you find any mold growth, wipe the furniture down. Find an antique expert to determine which cleaning solution would be most appropriate for the particular type of wood and which varnish would offer the best protection. You may also want to expose the furniture to a dose of sunlight, which can inhibit mold growth.
Check Piping and Roofing
Leaks of any sort contribute greatly to mold growth. Remove any snowfall from your roof as soon as it is safe to do so, as it can cause undue pressure on your roof and warp roofing material as it melts and refreezes. Check all piping, particularly in your laundry room. Also check under your refrigerator, as even the best models tend to leak over time. If your appliances are faulty and cannot be repaired, replace them with new or refurbished appliances.