Mold, Moisture and Your Home
January 21st, 2014, 3:33 PM
The key to mold prevention is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should promptly clean the area and correct the water problem. It’s important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Why is mold growing in my home?
Molds are part of the natural environment and serve a purpose outdoors. But inside, mold growth can be problematic. Mold reproduces indoors as mold spores land on wet surfaces. Of the many types of molds, none will grow without water or moisture.
Can mold cause health problems?
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Allergic reactions to mold are common, and may include sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. For more detailed information, consult a physician.
How do I eliminate or prevent mold from growing indoors?
Mold spores will not grow without moisture. Indoor mold growth can be prevented or restricted by controlling moisture. Tips to help prevent and control moisture and mold:
- Clean up all water leaks or spills quickly. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried within 24 to 48 hours, it is less likely that mold will grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Check the building foundation: Do the surrounding grounds slope in a way that would prevent water from entering or collecting at the foundation?
- Keep air-conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed.
- Keep indoor humidity low. If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
- Vent appliances that produce moisture. Appliances such as clothes dryers, stoves and kerosene heaters should be vented to the outside when possible.
- Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.
- Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.
- Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
- Cover cold surfaces such as cold water pipes with insulation.
- Increase the air temperature.