Mold & Moisture
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Posted in: Healthy Home Hazards
Mold needs two things to grow: water and food. The key to mold control is moisture control.
Any excess moisture in the home will provide enough water for mold to grow. Building materials, if damp, will act as a food source for mold. Reducing the amount of moisture in your home will thus significantly decreases the chance mold develops.
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). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and nonallergic people.
Steps you can take to control moisture:
Fix water problems such as leaking pipes and roof and basement leaks
Make sure your home is well ventilated and always use ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchens.
Ideally, keep humidity in home below 50%
Avoid putting carpeting in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements- dry floor mats regularly (mold LOVES drywall and carpet)
Mold can be cleaned up with hot water and dish soap/detergent (avoid exposure to harsh chemicals). However, it is important that a homeowner contact a professional to clean a severe mold issue.
Wear personal protective equipment
Learn more about mold, moisture and mold clean-up at the EPA website.