How to Eliminate Mold in Your Home*
Use these seven great tips to say goodbye to mold.
For people sensitive to molds, inhaling mold spores can cause an asthma attack. If mold is a problem in your home, you need to clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
Wash mold off hard surfaces and dry completely.
Absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be replaced if they are contaminated with mold.
Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water.
Keep drip pans in your air conditioner, refrigerator and dehumidifier clean and dry.
Use exhaust fans or open windows in kitchens and bathrooms when showering, cooking or using the dishwasher.
Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
Maintain low indoor humidity, ideally between 30 to 50 percent relative humidity. Humidity levels can be measured by hygrometers, which are available at local hardware stores.
What Triggers an Asthma Attack? Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew can grow indoors in persistently damp places. Common locations are the basement, around the kitchen sink, and in bathrooms. If you have asthma, you may be allergic to mold. (But don’t worry that you are falling victim to "toxic" mold. Any shortness of breath or other symptoms you experience most likely has more to do with your underlying allergic sensitivity to mold than to the nature of the mold itself. In fact, there is no scientific consensus about whether toxic mold even exists. You can usually detect mold growth by seeing or smelling it. Take these steps to eliminate mold:
Wash any moldy or mildewed surfaces with diluted bleach (mixed in equal parts with water) to kill the mold.
If your basement tends to become flooded with water, avoid having carpeting on the cement floor.
Run a dehumidifier during the summer months.
Install an exhaust fan in the bathroom or keep windows open to allow air to circulate.
Repair any kitchen or bathroom leaks quickly.
Clean sink surfaces and floors regularly.
*Source: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The NHLBI does not recommend or endorse any company advertised on this site.
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