Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

TenThingsKey Points

  • Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  • Vent bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
  • Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces by adding insulation.
  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. If mold is a problem in your home, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  3. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  4. Clean out gutters and slope the ground away from the home so that water does not have a tendency to accumulate near the foundation.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30%–60%) to decrease mold growth by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans when cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24–48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials that are moldy, such as ceiling tiles, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation. Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (e.g., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (e.g., in the basement or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.