Mold is a common issue in any home, and it’s a problem that may be about to get worse. Between humid days and regular thunderstorms, summertime creates the perfect moist conditions to spur the growth of mold. If left untreated, mold can damage your home’s structure and potentially pose a danger to your family’s health.
Luckily, homeowners have options to turn to if they suspect mold in the home. One such treatment is the use of UV technology to kill mold quickly and effectively. Learn more about mold, the dangers of mold in the home, and how to fight mold with UV technology, and steps to take now to ensure your home is comfortable and your family healthy this summer.
How Mold Grows
Moisture is the key to mold growth – plus other conditions that are likely always present in your home, including:
- Mold spores (which can enter the home in a variety of ways: through open doors and windows, vents, HVAC systems, and even attached to clothing)
- A food source (like drywall, wood, or cotton)
- Time to grow
Humidity and rain lend themselves to mold growth, making summer a prime time for mold. However, homeowners need to be aware of other moisture problems in the home that could cause mold to grow, and correct them upon discovery. Leaking pipes, roof leaks, poor ventilation, flooding, a damp basement, and even wet clothes can contribute to mold growth in the home.
Dangers of Mold in the Home
The dangers of mold in the home are two-fold. First, mold can damage the surface it lives on and potentially impair the structural integrity of a house, depending on where the mold is found.
Second, exposure to mold can trigger some unpleasant reactions, especially in those who are sensitive or allergic to mold spores. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, symptoms of mold allergies include:
- Runny nose
- Dry, scaling skin
- Post-nasal drip
- Asthma and other respiratory issues
The buildup of mold inside the home can also contribute to poor indoor air quality, which can further aggravate and inflame the respiratory system.
Typical areas where mold can be found in the home include:
- Pipes and ductwork
- The attic (due to leaky roofs)
- Around windows
- Basements and crawl spaces
- HVAC systems
- Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms
Using UV Technology to Fight Mold
If you have found mold in your home, there is no reason to panic. There are plenty of ways to get rid of mold in the home, depending on the severity of the infestation. One simple solution for a small mold problem is spraying and scrubbing with a mixture of baking soda and water.
At A.Johnson, we recommend using ultraviolet technology (also known as UV technology) to identify and effectively eliminate mold. This technique involves the use of residential ultraviolet units that quickly and effectively kill mold and bacteria in constantly moving air environments of heating and cooling systems. UV technology also has the added benefit of improving indoor air quality.
How UV Technology Works
Berkeley Lab shares some insight into how UV technology works to kill mold and sanitize the air inside your home:
“Ultraviolet (UV) germicidal lights produce short wavelength light (or radiation) that can damage the genetic material in the nucleus of cells of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and molds. The cells may be killed or made unable to reproduce. With extended exposure, UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) can also break down the particles that have deposited on an irradiated surface.”
Essentially, the UV lights break up mold DNA, sterilizing it and preventing it from growing. In order for UV technology to work effectively to kill mold, it must be installed properly. SFGate Home Guides explains:
“Place ultraviolet light fixtures in areas that provide ample space for light-mounting components. Proper installation means using 24VAC electrical power…. There should be enough space for you to easily service or remove the fixture… Find a good spot to mount the power supply module so the UV indicator light can be seen clearly and there is enough wire to reach the lamp’s power source.”
Or, you can simply contact us here at A.Johnson for help installing UV technology to fight mold.
Finally, you will want to consider some safety tips when it comes to using UV technology. According to SFGate Home Guides,
- Don’t look directly into UV light sources without wearing UV protective glasses;
- Unplug UV lamps before you work on them;
- Handle UV lamps with gloves;
- Allow UV lamps to cool before handling.
Mold Prevention Tips
Though using UV technology is a highly effective way to kill mold, it is certainly worth trying to prevent mold from growing in your home in the first place.
Home improvement expert Danny Lipford of Today’s Homeowner gives some great advice on how you can prevent mold in the home:
- Keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50 percent – check it with a humidity gauge and use a dehumidifier to lower it if necessary.
- Caulks and weather strip leaky windows.
- Channel water from downspouts away from your house to prevent foundation leaks.
- Inspect HVAC drains to ensure they are not clogged, and that they drain properly.
- Prevent condensation problems by installing insulated glass or storm windows.
- Repair or replace insulation around HVAC ducts if excess moisture is present.
- Change your HVAC air filter regularly and make sure you are using a high quality filter.
- Install bathroom fans that are vented to the outside and be sure to run them after showers.
Remember that if, despite your best efforts to prevent it, you still find mold in your home, there are resources you can turn to in order to eliminate the problem. A.Johnson is here to help homeowners in the Capital District area keep their homes safe and comfortable all year round.
Contact us today to improve your home comfort needs.