• If you have ever had a leak in your house you may know how fast mold can grow. It enters your home as tiny spores; the spores need moisture to begin growing, digesting and destroying. Molds can grow on almost any surface, including; wood, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, paints, carpet, sheet rock, and insulation. The mold grows best when there is a lot of moisture from a leaky roof, high humidity, or flood.   While there is no way to get rid all molds and mold spores completely from your home, you can take steps to prevent the growth of mold.

 

  •  Keep the humidity level in your home between 30% to 60% by using air conditioners or  dehumidifiers.
  • Put exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Don’t install carpets in damp areas such as basements or bathrooms.
  • Don’t let water accumulate under house plants.
  • Clean bathrooms with bleach and other mold killing products.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application. 
  • Inspect hoses, pipes and fittings - consider replacing hoses to major appliances like   washers and dishwasher every five years.


Some indications that you have mold are when you can smell the "musty" odor or see small black or white specks along your damp bathroom or basement walls. Some mold is hidden growing behind wall coverings or ceiling tiles. While most molds do not harm healthy people, people who have allergies or asthma may be more sensitive to molds. They may experience skin rash, running nose, eye irritation, cough, nasal congestion, aggravation of asthma or difficulty breathing.

If you notice mold or know of water damaged areas in your home, it is time to take action to control its growth. Depending on how sever the mold problem is, you may be able to treat the problem yourself. The EPA recommendation is that if the affected area is less than 10 square feet you can probably handle it yourself, any bigger than that it is best to hire a remediation specialist. 

  •  If you do decide to remove the mold yourself remember to wear protective gear.  Protective gear includes: goggles without ventilated openings, a N-95 respirator (this item is available a many hardware stores).  Also, don't forget the gloves; normal household cleaning gloves can be used if you are not using a biocide.  If you are going to be using a biocide you should wear natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC. 
  •  Clean-up can be as simple as cleaning the area with a chlorine bleach mixture. Other biocide options can be found at: www.epa.gov/mold.  Dispose of anything that you can that is likely to recontaminate the area, such as rugs or paper.  
  •  Close off the contaminated area while clean up is ongoing so that further contamination does not occur.