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Mold and Moisture in Your Home

Mold and moisture is part of the natural environment.  Outside your home, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided.

Mold is usually not a problem indoors, unless spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.  Mold has the potential to cause health problems. Mold produces allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).  Inhaling or touching mold or spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips

  • When water leaks or spills occur indoors – ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.Moisture control is the key to mold control
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  • Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

 

Actions That Will Help Reduce Humidity

  • Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible.  (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)
  • Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.
  • Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.
Also of Interest  Mold: Things You Should Know

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and spores indoors; some spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust.  The spores will not grow if moisture is not present.  Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors.  If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean it up and fix the water problem causing the mold.  If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

Don’t make the mistake a lot of people make with mold, thinking you can clean it up yourself using bleach. The use of chlorine bleach is NOT recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup.

If you suspect you have a mold problem, call a Brown and Reaves Services at 843-497-9867. We are certified in mold testing. When we test, we send samples to a lab for analyzing to determine what type of mold it is and the best way to remove it. Most of what we find is HVAC related and we can treat that for you.

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