You Can Control Mold
You can control mold growth inside your home by:
• Controlling humidity levels;
• Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
• Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
• Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
• Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
• Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
• Wear non-porous gloves and protective glasses/goggles.
• If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types.
• Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.
Mold Prevention Tips
- Maintain humidity levels as low as you can—no greater than 50% throughout the day. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the humidity level low. Its important to note that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Be certain that your home has sufficient ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer exhausts outside your home.
- Repair any leaks immediately in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing to ensure mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Clean up moisture and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
- Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.
- Consider eliminating carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.