Preventing Mold

The key to mold control is moisture control. Solving moisture problems within the first 24 to 48 hours can go a long way towards limiting or eliminating mold growth. You can be proactive simply by keeping a watchful eye out for plumbing leaks, leaks in the building envelope (roof, around windows, siding penetrations), or unusual condensation occurrences. Simply keeping the humidity level inside a home or building below 60% relative humidity (ideally 30-50%), can rob molds of one of their primary growing mechanisms, moisture.

The table below offers Mold Prevention Tips good for any indoor environment.

Mold Prevention Tips:

  • Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible
  • Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as possible
  • Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
  • Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
  • Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
  • Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
  • Perform regular building / HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
  • Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
  • Don’t let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.

When mold growth occurs in buildings, some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems, may report adverse health problems. Those trying to clean up molds should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.