Learn to Prevent Moisture and Mold
January 7, 2013
Molds are fungi that occur through nature and can grow on almost any surface. Mold particles are normally present in the air at all times, both indoors and outdoors, usually without any consequences for our health or our kid’s health. Problems can arise when the level of mold in the air becomes particularly high or if your kid is sensitive to mold or has mold allergies.
Exposure to some molds can cause kids to experience allergic and respiratory symptoms, such as runny nose, sinus headaches, fatigue, sore throat, chronic cough, wheezing, breathlessness, and tightness in the chest. Actively growing molds also release particles (spores and fungal fragments) and toxins (called mycotoxins) into the air, which can cause more serious health effects.
Use these tips to prevent moisture and avoid exposing your kids to mold:
Act Quickly when you detect a leak or spill indoors.
- Dry the surface completely.
- Fix plumbing or roof leaks and check basement for wet walls or floor.
- Wrap cold water pipes with insulation.
- Grade soil near your foundation to slope away from your home.
Keep Humidity Below 60 percent.
Humidity levels can be measured with a hygrometer purchased at a hardware store. Droplets of water (condensation) on windows, walls or pipes are a sign of humidity. To lower humidity:
- Dry any wet surfaces.
- Use exhaust fans or open windows in bathrooms when bathing or showering.
- Use exhaust fans or open windows in kitchen when cooking, washing dishes, etc.
- Vent appliances such as the clothes dryer, stoves and heaters to the outside.
Use Air Conditioners And/Or Dehumidifiers to reduce humidity as needed.
- Drip pans must be cleaned and dried to prevent mold growth.
- Drain lines must be clear and flowing properly.
- Inspect air conditioners for mold and clean coils (you might want to call a professional).
- Keep the humidifier on your furnace clean.
Do Not Store firewood, piles of leaves or compost near your home. Mold spores can be disturbed and tracked into your home or can enter your home through windows.