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By Jim Brown
After understanding the hazards of mold, you probably want to take the measures required to prevent it. A proactive approach is better, healthier and more cost effective than a reactive one.
If you take the measures to prevent it, you will be able to avoid expensive mold mitigation processes and protect your home or business occupants from serious health threats.
The first step to mold prevention is humidity and moisture control. Measure the air moisture levels in your home or office using a moisture meter (hygrometer). Relative moisture (RH) levels must be kept below 45 percent to prevent mold from growing and spreading.
Maintain low humidity levels and reduce moisture levels in rooms where it is usually generated such as the bathroom, kitchen, etc. Increase air circulation by using exhaust fans and opening windows whenever possible. Dehumidifiers and air conditioning systems will also help reduce humidity levels.
Keep your home or business as dry as possible. Regularly inspect your property to detect and prevent water damage, hidden and visible. In case of water damage, try to dry out your property in less than 48 hours.
Keep in mind that, in some cases, light dampness is enough for mold to grow. Don't accumulate too many items in your storage areas as packed storage areas tend to be moist and promote mold growth on fabrics, paper, wood and practically any material that holds moisture.
Clean and maintain HVAC systems annually. Air duct systems can easily become contaminated with mold and present a serious health threat as airborne mold spores that can be spread and inhaled.