Most of us have seen mold or moisture around the house. Did you know that mold is alive? It grows on wet or damp surfaces. It is often gray or black, but can also be white, orange or green. It can grow out in the open on places like walls, clothes or appliances. You may also find it in more hidden places – under carpets or in walls or attics.
Mold often smells musty. Mildew is a common name for mold. Mold produces spores, tiny specks that you can’t see that float in the air.
Because mold needs moisture to grow, try to keep your home and everything in it dry. It is important to fix any moisture problem in your home right away. To stop mold from growing, quickly dry or throw away anything that had gotten wet. Increase air flow in problem areas – open closet doors and move furniture away from outside walls where mold is growing. Once in a while, move your furniture around.
Consider these action steps in our humid climate:
Check the relative humidity in your home. You can buy a kit to do this in an electronics or hardware store. The humidity should be less than 50%.
Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to dry out damp areas.
If the humidity is high, don’t keep a lot of houseplants.
Wipe down shower walls with a squeegee or towel after bathing or showering.
Cut down on steam in the bathroom while bathing or showering. Run a fan that is vented to the outside.
Run a fan vented to the outside when cooking.
Be sure the dryer is vented to the outside.
Keep surfaces clean and dry – wipe up spills and overflows right away.
Store clothes and towels clean and dry. Do not let them stay wet in the laundry basket or washing machine.
Do not let water stand in drip pans, basements and air conditioners.
Use downspouts to direct rain water away from the house. Make sure your gutters are working.
Slope the dirt away from the house’s foundation. Make sure the dirt is lower six feet away from the house than it is next to it.
Repair leaking roofs, walls, doors and windows.
What about testing for mold? No matter what kind of mold you have, you need to get rid of it and fix the moisture problems that made it grow. Most experts agree that it is better to spend your time and money on cleaning up the problem than on testing.
Questions??? Call me in Columbus at 706.653.4200.
By Joanne Cavis