For more information see Health Effects of Indoor Air Pollution – Molds
Molds do not generally affect healthy individuals, however those with allergies or asthma may be more sensitive and develop reactions to mold. Sensitive people (and those with prolonged mold exposure) may experience hay-fever type symptoms including: coughing, skin rash, running nose, red eyes, nasal congestion, aggravation of asthma or difficulty breathing. Also, individuals with immune system suppression, lung diseases, are at increased risk for infection from molds.1
Controlling, and preventing moisture will prevent the growth, and spread of Mold.
- Stop water leaks, repair leaky roofs and plumbing. Keep water away from concrete slabs and basement walls.
- Open windows and doors to increase air flow in your home, especially along the inside of exterior walls. Use a fan if there are no windows available.
- Clean and dry water damaged carpets, clothing, bedding, and upholstered furniture within 24 to 48 hours, or consider removing and replacing damaged furnishings.
- In the office, consider using leather-covered rather than fabric-covered office furniture. Fabric-covered cushions allow dust and moisture to build up in the cushioning, supporting the growth of dust mites
- Make sure that warm air flows into all areas of the home. Move large objects a few inches away from the inside of exterior walls to increase air circulation.
- Install and use exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
- Vacuum and clean your home regularly to remove mold spores.
- To determine if a vinyl product such as an insect screen is offgassing an irritating smell, remove the item and ventilate the room to see if the odor goes away.
In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building’s compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated.
Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results.
Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.3
In all instances it is important to Act fast, as mold damages your home as it grows. Remember that unless the source of the moisture, or cause of water leak is rectified, the mold will regrow, and continue to cause damage and health concerns.
For more information, or to request a professional mold IAQ consultation:
- A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home, US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air & Radiation, USA, viewed 15 August 2008, <https://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html>
- Got Mold? Frequently Asked Questions About Mold, Washington Department of Health, USA, viewed 20 August 2008, <https://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/ts/IAQ/GOT_Mold.html>.
- Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home, Testing or Sampling for Mold, US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air & Radiation, USA, viewed 15 August 2008, <https://www.epa.gov/mold/preventionandcontrol.html