Mold in the Home

Aside from mold being unsightly, it can also be a trigger and cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems in some individuals.  The key to controlling mold growth in and around your home is to control moisture.  Keep things dry.

Tips for Controlling Moisture

  1. Is there a leak? Fix the leak! Are you a renter? Report the leak to the property management/maintenance department right away!
  2. How is you indoor humidity?  Ideal humidity: 30%-50%. Basements especially can be prone to high humidity.  Try using dehumidifiers and air conditioners to keep areas dry.  Remember to use ventilation fans  (or crack the bathroom window if able) in the bathrooms during and following showers.  Fun Fact! Humidity can be measured using an instrument called HYGROMETER and can typically be found in your local hardware store.
  3. Dry areas or furnishings that have become wet within 24-48 hours.
  4. Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.  Inquire at your local hardware/paint store.

There is no test for mold!

If you see it, or there's a musty smell in your home, you can assume there's mold somewhere.  The Mansfield Health Department cannot test for mold and the CDC does not recommend testing.  With that being said, there are also no "mold standards" set forth by any State or Federal entities (whether it be for airborne concentration(s) and/or mold spores), so even after sampling, you would not be able to conclude from the results or compare the results to "safe levels".


Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.