How to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Apartment
Written by Hannah Hildebolt
You might think that if you can’t see any mold in your apartment right now, you’re all good, and you can keep chugging along as you always do. Unfortunately, this might not be the case. Mold has the tendency to pop up unexpectedly. Taking steps to actively prevent mold growth is the only way to be sure that you can handle an infestation if it does crop up. We’re here to give you a few tips on how to best keep your rental mold-free and hold on to your security deposit.
What is Mold?
The word “mold” refers to a variety of fungi which are often fuzzy, discolored, and fond of taking root in moist spaces. You’re probably familiar with the kind of mold that grows on old bread or cheese, signalling that those foods are no longer okay to eat. However, indoor mold can also take root on different surfaces in your apartment, especially on damp, porous surfaces––wood often fits this description. If you don’t take steps to prevent mold growth and it does show up, you might end up with a larger mold problem which will take more time and money to solve. It could even destroy some of the surfaces in your rental. Luckily, there are ways to prevent mold growth before it happens, so that things never have to grow so out of control.
Some Tips to Prevent Mold Growth
- Check over your entire apartment and keep an eye on the most mold-friendly spots. Take a look around every room of your apartment and note where mold seems most likely to grow. These will be dark, damp corners and areas where there may be persistent leaks. Your bathrooms and the walls, ceiling, and floor around your sinks are good places to be particularly careful. Do what you can to keep them dry, and make sure to check these areas regularly for evidence of growth.
- Be aware of how your everyday habits may spread moisture. You might want to make small changes in your daily routine in order to prevent mold growth. For instance, if you leave wet towels on the floor, simply picking them up so as not to spread moisture can help in the long run. Consider other, similar habits you might be able to change, such as leaving damp clothes in the washer for a long time before switching them to the dryer. Even the smallest efforts to keep moisture in check could pay off.
- Ventilate your apartment as well as you can. One key way to prevent mold growth is by making sure that air is circulating throughout your apartment so that moisture levels stay down. Open windows when you can, especially when doing activities that involve running water, and consider investing in a dehumidifier. If you really want to go all the way, you can even consider a hygrometer, or a device used to measure humidity. That’ll help you keep your moisture levels where they should be in order to keep your rental mold-free.
Take Extra Precautions
- Watch out for your plants. Yes, even the plants you love could bring mold into your rental. The damp soil in which your plants live is the perfect place for mold to begin to take root. One easy way to prevent mold growth on your houseplants is to make sure that you only water them when they’re dry. Not only is this healthy for them, but it will ensure that the soil in their pots is not continually moist, which might lead to mold.
- Invest in some mold prevention products. There are any number of products out there in order to help keep mold growth under control, and getting a few of the ones most pertinent to your circumstances is a good move. That way, if mold does show up unexpectedly, you’ll have the means at hand to deal with it. You can patch up the situation right away while you decide what the next move will be. This article from The Spruce has a list of some of the best mold removers and products to prevent mold growth. Until then, keep some white vinegar around––it kills many different species of mold, so spraying it on any mold growth you find will help in a pinch.
If You Find Mold in Your Apartment, What’s the Next Step?
Of course, there’s a chance that you’ll look over your apartment after reading this article and discover mold somewhere in your apartment. Spraying down some of the aforementioned white vinegar on the area is a good starting point. The next step is to let your landlord know that you’re having a mold issue so that they can work with you in order to determine the source and work out a solution. If the problem is something larger, like a leaky pipe, your landlord will need to know in order to fix it. However, if your habits are the cause of the mold, it’ll likely be your responsibility to handle. That would probably be something like long showers or leaving wet towels on the floor. This is where mold removal products will come in handy.
By using the list of tips above, hopefully you never actually have to deal with mold. Learning to adopt habits which prevent mold growth before it happens is so much easier than dealing with a mold infestation after it occurs. After all, on top of everything else which has been going on lately, we’re sure the last thing you want to deal with is a mold problem.
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