Things You'll Need
Vents and fans
Seek professional help to remove mold if the problem is persistent or if you’re unable to remove all mold.
Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Leave mold cleanup duties to those who are less affected by exposure to mold.
Mold spores exist both indoors and outdoors, and can be found in nearly any environment at all times of the year. Exposure to mold spores—which are produced by mold and waft through the air—may cause such symptoms as nasal congestion, frequent sneezing, runny nose, irritated eyes, and cough or other respiratory symptoms. Controlling mold spores requires eliminating sources of moisture conducive to mold growth. Neutralizing the mold in and around your home can reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms caused by mold exposure.
Reduce indoor humidity to 40 percent. Buy a hygrometer to measure and monitor the indoor humidity level, and use a dehumidifier or air conditioner in damp areas of the home.
Prevent mold growth on water-damaged areas and items by cleaning and drying within 24 to 48 hours. Mold growth is frequently associated with flooding incidents. Whenever possible, use bleach-based cleaning agents, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
Vent moisture-generating sources, such as bathrooms and clothes dryers, to the outdoors. Increase ventilation throughout the home, and turn on exhaust fans when cooking and cleaning.
Locate and repair any water leaks that allow mold spores to grow, such as in windowsills, refrigerator drip pans, or leaky faucets and plumbing.
Use detergent and water to wash mold off hard surfaces, then dry completely. If mold grows on absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles and carpet, they should probably be replaced.
Add insulation to reduce condensation on such cold surfaces such as windows, piping, exterior walls and floors.
Do not install carpet in high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms and basements. Below-ground rooms have a higher risk of developing mold and mildew.
Lisa Kelly Eason
Lisa Kelly Eason is a freelance writer with 20 years' experience covering news, sports, lifestyle and business for various publications, including The Commercial Appeal and Scripps Howard News Service. She graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in journalism. The native Memphian resides in Columbia, S.C.