A moldy but goody: Mold prevention tips for the home


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Ah, September — school is back in session, we’re at the cusp of crisp fall weather and mold is probably taking claim to your home. Too much? Let’s skip the drama, but now that we have you thinking about mold, let’s talk about how you can eliminate any potential mold problems before they start.

Without getting too scientific, mold reproduces through tiny spores, which are invisible to the naked eye and float around the air. Mold needs moisture to grow and do so when the spores land on wet surfaces.

And mold is not just unsightly. It also produces allergens, irritants and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold can cause asthma attacks or allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash.

Luckily, there are ways to prevent mold from inhabiting your home, and we’ve got your action plan right here:

  • Act fast if you have a leak or spill. Generally, mold will not grow if wet areas are dried within 24 to 48 hours;
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly;
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation;
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed;
  • Make sure indoor humidity is low, preferably between 30% and 50%. You can measure relative humidity with a moisture or humidity meter;
  • Dry condensation and moisture on windows, walls or pipes;
  • Vent moisture-producing appliances, such as clothes dryers and stoves, to the outside;
  • Use air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers;
  • Use the bathroom fan or open the window when showering, and run exhaust fans or open windows when cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing; and
  • Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry. You may need to replace absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles, that get moldy.


Click here for more tips from the Environment Protection Agency.