5 Tips to Guard Your Home Against Fungal Growth
Unfortunately, northwest Florida residents are no strangers to fungal growth. Our hot, humid climate encourages fungal growth all year long and in virtually any area. While fungal growth is a natural part of our outdoor environment, it can be dangerous when it infiltrates your home. Breathing in fungal growth can cause itchy, watery eyes, runny noses, sneezing, and skin rashes, especially in those with allergies or asthma. In more serious cases, some fungal growth can even lead to serious respiratory issues and can be damaging to some aspects of your home. So, how can you guard your home against fungal growth? Follow these tips:
Where to Look for Fungal Growth
Fungal growth thrives wherever there’s moisture, oxygen, and a suitable growing surface. Because of its need for these three things, it is most common in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, attics, and crawl spaces in homes. Once you find fungal growth, don’t ignore it! Once growing, it will quickly spread throughout your home, damaging your property and contaminating your indoor air quality.
Regular Fungal Growth Prevention
1. Use Air Conditioner & Dehumidifiers
Your air conditioning system plays a huge part in regulating the humidity levels in your home. If you have an older system (6-10 years old), it’s likely powered by single-stage cooling. If it’s not yet time to replace your system, having a dehumidifier installed can help regulate the humidity in your home and limit fungal growth. Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air entering your system, which is collected into a tank rather than staying in your home.
If you think it might be time to replace your HVAC system, consider investing in a high-efficiency variable speed comfort system. Not only do these systems save you money on your energy bills each month, but they also precisely regulate humidity in your home keeping it between 30-50%. Lower humidity means less fungal growth. Variable speed systems work better than single-stage systems in that they offer advanced compressors and Spine Fin coils to enhance temperature and humidity control throughout your home. In the extreme heat and humidity of northwest Florida, a variable speed system will be your best choice for ultimate home comfort.
2. Use Exhaust fans
While you may think the only purpose of kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans is to get rid of smoke and smelly odors, they also aid in the removal of excess moisture in the air. Bathrooms and kitchens are the main hotspots for fungal growth in homes because of the regular use of water in these areas. To cut down on fungal growth in these areas of your home, use exhaust fans to keep moisture from lingering in the area.
3. Clean Regularly
Cleaning is especially important in keeping fungal growth at bay in your home. To prevent fungal growth, regularly clean your home in hard-to-reach areas with versatile, all-natural cleaning products. Be sure to use products as directed, and remove any excess product from surfaces. Clean these areas often, as they’re the most likely spots to spur fungal growth.
4. Check for Leaks
Faucets, washers, hoses, and pipes should be checked regularly as well to ensure they’re not leaking. Major appliance leaks can cause fungal growth in places you might not even realize such as behind the fridge, under the washing machine, in the walls, and even under flooring. Your roof should also regularly be checked for leaks as this could cause fungal growth in your attic.
5. Eliminate Carpet
While you don’t need to eliminate carpet throughout your whole home, there should be no carpet in areas that have regular water-use such as bathrooms, kitchens, or even unfinished basements. Fungal growth forms, hides, and spreads more easily in carpet, and it’s harder to remove.
Fungal Growth Prevention After Water Damage
If your home has recently flooded or experienced any water damage, take action now to ensure your home is free of fungal growth by following these tips with the help of a professional:
- Remove standing water – this can be done with a sump pump, with a shop vac, or by professionals.
- Determine the source of the water damage – you may have to wait until the water is removed to find leaks, burst pipes, or the point of entrance.
- Eliminate the source of the moisture – this is the most important step in preventing fungal growth.
- Disinfect – clean everything once the source has been eliminated.
- Dry out furniture, fabric, etc. – any upholstery, clothes, rugs, bedding, carpet, or furniture that got wet needs to be dried outside of your home. Don’t bring these items back in before checking for fungal growth.
- Throw things away – if household items cannot be dried out, or if you find rags, towels, or other small items with fungal growth already, throw them away. If it’s in the carpet, you’ll likely need to throw it out and replace it.
If you’ve struggled with fungal growth in your home, the best solution to eliminate it for good is investing in our Indoor Air Sanitizing Solutions Bundle. As a bundle, you’ll save $375 while getting everything you need to ensure mold is gone for good. This bundle includes:
- Installation of our Reme Halo LED air purification system- proven to eliminate 99.9% of viruses, mold, and other allergens, including COVID-19 from the air in your home.
- 1 Year of membership to our Optim
um Proactive Performance Plan (PPP) for regular preventative maintenance check-ups on your HVAC system.
- Ductwork inspection to determine the presence of fungal growth, other harmful contaminants, or air leaks.
- Duct fogging with anti-microbial to ensure all contaminants are eliminated.
- Interior air handler cleaning including drain pan and evaporator coil.
- All surfaces of the air handler and mechanical room cleaned with anti-microbial.
To get in touch with us, visit our website or call us at (850) 897-6540. Gulfshore Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. is your trusted American Standard Customer Care Dealer in Niceville, FL. Our professional staff can answer any questions you might have about working to eliminate mold from your home.