You can reduce house's attraction for dangerous mold


July 21, 2002

Too much of certain kinds of mold can be dangerous to homeowners' health, the American Society of Home Inspectors warns.

"Mold always indicates excessive moisture. and the source should be corrected immediately," said Mike Casey, ASHI president.

Toxic or pathogenic mold can cause problems including congestion, chronic fatigue, bloody noses and flulike symptoms.

Homeowners can prevent mold with the following steps:

Fix leaky plumbing, roof leaks or other sources of water immediately.

Keep drip pans in your air conditioner, refrigerator and dehumidifier clean and dry.

Wash mold off hard surfaces and dry completely, replacing absorbent materials such as carpets if necessary.

Use exhaust fans or open windows in kitchens and bathrooms while showering, cooking or using the dishwasher. Place vents for exhaust fans and clothes dryers outside the home.

Maintain low humidity, ideally 30 percent to 50 percent.

Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products. Do not carpet bathrooms.

Add mold inhibitors to paint when painting the home.

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