Moisture and Mold

This summer has been one of the wettest in recent memory! Moisture is mold’s
best friend and it thrives between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit which is why it
is commonly found in homes.  Mold spores float in the air and can grow on
virtually any substance with moisture including tile, wood, drywall, paper, carpet,
and food.

Moisture control and eliminating water problems are key to preventing mold.
Common sources of moisture can be roof leaks, indoor plumbing leaks, outdoor
drainage problems, damp basements or crawl spaces, steam from bathrooms or
kitchen, condensation on cool surfaces, humidifiers, wet clothes drying inside, or
improper ventilation of heating and cooking appliances.

Some points for remediation:

  • Control the moisture problem
  • Scrub mold off hard surfaces using soap and water or other cleanser; dry
    completely
  • Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces
  •  Discard porous materials with extensive mold growth
  • Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold

Periodically, inspect the area for signs of moisture and new mold growth

The EPA suggests that if the moldy area is less than ten square feet, you can
probably handle the cleanup yourself.  If the affected area is larger than that, find
a licensed contractor or professional service provider that is certified to remove
mold.

Increasing ventilation in a bathroom by running a fan for at least 30 minutes or
opening a window can help remove moisture and control mold growth.  After
showering, squeegee the walls and doors. Wipe wet areas with dry
towels.  Cleaning more frequently will also prevent mold from recurring or keep it
to a minimum.

A simple solution to clean most mold is a 1:8 bleach/water mixture.  Since homes
have thermostatically controlled temperatures and water is used all day long in
the kitchen and bathrooms, the environment is conducive to mold.
See Ten things you should know about mold written by the EPA.