It doesn’t take much to invite mold and mildew to grow and spread inside your home. An improperly vented bathroom, a plumbing leak that goes unchecked, or a damp basement are just a few. Mold and mildew can appear from human error, too – the kind you’re probably not even aware you’re making. Here are 6 common mistakes that promote the growth of mold and mildew and lead to all sorts of problems, like asthma and allergies, and all the symptoms associated with them…not to mention damage to your home.

Overwatering Houseplants – Not only do you drown the roots of a plant by overwatering, but you’re also rolling out the red carpet for mold. If you notice a layer of fuzzy, white mold on the soil, scoop away the top inch and replace it with clean potting soil. Only water when the soil is dry down to about an inch below the surface.

Spills on Carpets – Sure, that little spill may not seem like much, especially if it’s just water. But once liquid seeps through the carpet and into the padding below, it presents a perfect spot for mold to flourish. Blot up spills right away to prevent mold and reduce carpet stains.

Wet Clothing or Towels – Wet fabric crumpled and left on the floor becomes a breeding ground for mildew. Take the time to hang up damp towels after use, wash sweaty gym clothes, and hang up wet bathing suits after a fun day at the pool.

Steamy Kitchen – It can get pretty steamy in your kitchen. Be sure to open a window or run the vent fan when boiling pots of water. Wipe up spills right away and don’t let a sink full of dishes sit for too long before washing. Wash your dish towels regularly and hang them up to dry between uses.

Stacked Cardboard – Do you have stacked cardboard boxes lurking around in your basement or garage?  Well, the combo of paper and moist conditions is a natural mold breeding ground. First, repair any roof, foundation, or ground leaks. Then separate boxes to allow air to circulate between them. Better yet, transfer your items to lidded plastic storage containers. Finally, place a few buckets of activated charcoal or kitty litter around the garage to help control moisture.

Infrequent Vacuuming – Did you know it takes mold 24-48 hours to establish a colony once spores find a nice damp, warm spot? And since mold often settles on the floor after drifting through the air, it can easily be picked up by your feet and escorted throughout your home. To counter that trend, vacuum your floors at least once a week with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum.

Here’s another great way to keep mold and mildew at bay.  Contact Bob Boldt HVAC for a free quote on a whole-house dehumidifier. It works hand in hand with your AC system to rid your home of excess mold. It also helps provide added comfort while reducing your monthly energy costs.