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Eliminate mold by controling moisture

Excess moisture or water accumulation indoors often causesmold growth, especially if the problem is hidden or isn'taddressed. This contributes to health problems for people withexisting respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies andmultiple chemical sensitivity.
Mold spores continually waft through indoor and outdoor air.When spores land on a damp spot indoors, they begin to grow anddigest whatever they're growing on to survive. Molds can grow onwood, paper, carpet, foods and even dynamite.

Although there's no practical way to eliminate all mold andmold spores, you can constrain mold growth inside your home bycleaning up existing mold problems and eliminating sources ofexcessive moisture.

It's impossible to completely remove mold from poroussurfaces such as paper, drywall and carpet padding, so these typematerials should be removed and discarded.

To remove mold from non-porous materials, brush surfaceswith a detergent solution and rinse well. Be sure your work areais well-ventilated. Then apply a solution of water and chlorinebleach, according to label directions, to the cleaned surface;leave it on for 15 minutes; rinse well, and dry quickly.

Just splashing full-strength bleach will not remove mold.The surface must be cleaned as described above.

There are many ways to eliminate sources of moisture,including the following:

Maintain indoor humidity at 30 to 60 percent. To reduce it,vent bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources tothe outside and use exhaust fans or open windows in kitchenswhen cooking or using the dishwasher and in bathrooms when showeringor bathing. Use air conditioners and de-humidifers. To improveventilation, use fans.

Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of excess water.

Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials andfurnishings within 24 to 48 hours.

Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces suchas windows, piping, exterior walls, floors or the roof by addinginsulation. Don't install carpeting in areas where there is aperpetual moisture problem, such as concrete floors.

Keep drip pans in the air conditioner, refrigerator and de-humidifer clean and dry.

For more information, contact the Adair County Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Serviceserve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion,disability or national origin.

Kelli Bonifer

County Extension Agent for Family& Consumer Sciences
Adair County Cooperative Extension Service
409 Fairground Street, P.O. Box 309, Columbia, KY 42728
Phone: (270) 384-2317, Fax: (270) 384-9167, Email:


This story was posted on 2004-07-04 18:26:16
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