How can I prevent mold from growing in my home?
mold spores are all around us, mold growth can be prevented. As mentioned earlier, mold growing in your home requires
MOISTURE, WARMTH, and FOOD. Depriving mold of any of these
three items will stop it from growing, but it will not kill the mold
that is already there. Mold spores will remain dormant, and if
the moisture, warmth and food all reappear, mold will begin to grow
The most important steps in controlling mold growth are to clean
any existing mold and to eliminate excessive moisture. You can take
numerous precautionary steps:
- Vacuum and clean regularly to remove possible sources of mold
growth. Pay special attention to bathrooms and other areas
of your home that are likely to generate a lot of
- In portions of your home that are susceptible to moisture, use
area rugs or washable floor surfaces rather than wall-to-wall
carpeting. If you use area rugs, launder them
- Do not store materials such as paper, books, clothes, or other
possible sources of food for mold in humid parts of your
- Repair water leaks in your roof, windows, or any other part of
the home as soon as possible.
- Clean refrigerator drip pans regularly according to the
manufacturer's instructions. If your refrigerator and
freezer doors do not seal properly, moisture can build up and mold
can grow there. Remove any mold on the door gaskets and
replace faulty gaskets.
- If you live in a house, make sure that your gutters and
downspouts are clear of debris that may block the flow of water
from your roof. Make sure the area under your downspouts is
properly graded so that rainwater from the roof flows away from
your foundation. Splash blocks can help rainwater to flow in
the proper direction. If necessary, extend your downspouts.
- Make sure other areas around your foundation are graded so
that rainwater does not flow toward the house. Do not put gardens or plants too close to your foundation so
that watering them could cause water to flow toward your
house. If you water your lawn with a sprinkler, make sure
the water does not hit your house or the area next to the
- In the kitchen and bathroom, open windows or use exhaust fans
when engaging in activities that produce moisture. Exhaust
fans should be vented to the outdoors and not to an attic or crawl
- If you have a clothes dryer, make sure it is vented to the
- If you use a humidifier, make sure it does not produce an
excessive amount of humidity. During the summer, 60
percent relative humidity or lower probably will prevent
condensation and mold growth in most parts of the country, but that is too moist for the
middle of winter, when 40 percent relative humidity or lower will
prevent condensation on windows.
- If you live in a house with a basement, consider using a
dehumidifier there. The cool basement floor and walls can be
a source of moisture build-up.
- If your home has an attic, make sure it is properly insulated
- If you have a crawl space under your house, cover the soil in
the crawl space with waterproof polyethylene plastic. If
your crawl space is ventilated, close the vents in the summer and
keep them open in the winter.
- If you have water problems in your basement or crawl space,
clean up affected areas as quickly as possible and take immediate
steps to resolve the source of the problem.