Moisture control is the key to mold control. When water leaks or spills occur indoors–act promptly. Any initial water infiltration should be stopped and cleaned promptly. A prompt response (within 24-48 hours) and thorough clean- up, drying, and/or removal of water-damaged materials will prevent or limit mold growth.
Some simple tips include:
- Repairing plumbing leaks and leaks in the building structure as soon as possible.
- Looking for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture incursion problem(s) as soon as possible.
- Preventing moisture from condensing by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keeping HVAC (air-conditioning) drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
- Performing regularly scheduled building / HVAC inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.
- Maintaining indoor relative humidity below 70% (25 – 60%, if possible).
- Venting moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Venting kitchens (cooking areas) and bathrooms according to local code requirements.
- Cleaning and drying wet or damp spots as soon as possible, but no more than 48 hours after discovery.
- Providing adequate drainage around buildings and sloping the ground away from building foundations. Follow all local building codes.
- Pinpointing areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.
Questions That May Assist in Determining Whether a Mold Problem Currently Exists
- Are building materials or furnishings visibly moisture damaged?
- Have building materials been wet more than 48 hours?
- Are there existing moisture problems in the building?
- Are building occupants reporting musty or moldy odors?
- Are building occupants reporting health problems that they think are related to mold in the indoor environment?
- Has the building been recently remodeled or has the building use changed?
- Has routine maintenance been delayed or the maintenance plan been altered?