You should always be mindful of indoor sources of water vapor that can be problematic. Clothes dryers must be vented to the outdoors. Unvented gas or kerosene space heaters can generate enormous amounts of water vapor (as well as other air contaminants), and should be used sparingly and never as a primary heat source.
Always run the bathroom exhaust fan when showering or bathing, and make sure the vent is exhausted to outdoors. A properly vented kitchen exhaust fan can remove steam created during cooking.
MOLD - The Basic Elements:
Mold requires 3 basic elements to grow; moisture, warm air, and a
food source. Depriving mold of any of these three items will limit,
and in some cases prevent it from growing, but it will not kill the
mold that is already present. Mold spores will remain dormant, and
if the moisture, warmth and food all reappear, mold will begin to
Remember: Mold does not have to be alive to cause health problems in
people or animals. Dormant and even non-viable (dead) mold can be
just as harmful as viable (alive) mold.
1: The most important steps in controlling mold growth are to clean
any existing mold and to eliminate moisture intrusion that caused
2: The number 1 cause of indoor mold problems is outdoor irrigation
and drainage. Wall materials such as stucco and wood absorb water.
Make sure sprinklers do not hit exterior walls. Make sure plants do
not touch exterior walls and rain water is routed away from your
building. Gutters and downspouts are the best way to manage rain
water. Concrete slabs act just like a sponge. They absorb water out
of the soil and hold it for extended periods. In turn, materials
that make contact with wet slabs, such as carpet, padding, tack
strip, moldings and other construction framework, absorb moisture
out of slabs creating ideal conditions for mold growth. Over
watering plants, grass and flower beds, is the primary contributor
to this destructive scenario. When watering, make sure that the soil
against your building dries completely within 3 hours of watering.
3: Cob webs and dust are mold magnets. Airborne spores get trapped
and can begin to grow. Vacuum and clean regularly to remove dust and
cob webs in your home, especially behind refrigerator and other
appliances that are not always included in routine vacuuming.
4: Carpeting in bathrooms is a big No-No. In portions of your home
that are susceptible to moisture, use area rugs or washable floor
surfaces rather than wall-to-wall carpeting. If you use area rugs,
launder them periodically.
5: Do not store materials such as paper, books, clothes, or other
possible sources of food for mold in humid parts of your home.
6: Repair water leaks in your roof, windows, or any other part of
the home immediately.
7: Clean refrigerator drip pans regularly according to the
manufacturer's instructions. If your refrigerator and freezer doors
do not seal properly, moisture can build up and mold can grow there.
Remove any mold on the door gaskets and replace faulty gaskets.
8: If you live in a house, make sure that your gutters and
downspouts are clear of debris that may block the flow of water from
your roof. Make sure the area under your downspouts is properly
graded so that rainwater from the roof flows away from your
foundation. Splash blocks can help rainwater to flow in the proper
direction. If necessary, extend your downspouts.
9: Make sure other areas around your foundation are graded so that
rainwater does not flow toward the house. Do not put gardens or
plants too close to your foundation so that watering them could
cause water to flow toward your house. If you water your lawn with a
sprinkler, make sure the water does not hit your house or the area
next to the foundation.
10: In the kitchen and bathroom, open windows or use exhaust fans
when engaging in activities that produce moisture. Exhaust fans
should be vented to the outdoors and not to an attic or crawl space.
If your shower areas do not have exhaust fan, install them and wire
them to the light switch so they cannot be ignored.
11: If you have a clothes dryer, make sure it is properly vented to
12: If you use a humidifier, make sure it does not produce an
excessive amount of humidity. During the summer, 60 percent relative
humidity or lower probably will prevent condensation and mold growth
in most parts of the country, but that is too moist for the middle
of winter, when 40 percent relative humidity or lower will prevent
condensation on windows.
13: If you live in a house with a basement, consider using a
dehumidifier there. The cool basement floor and walls can be a
source of moisture build-up.
14: If your home has an attic, make sure it is properly insulated
15: If you have a crawl space under your house, cover the soil in
the crawl space with waterproof polyethylene plastic. If your crawl
space is ventilated, close the vents in the summer and keep them
open in the winter.
16: If you have water problems in your basement or crawl space,
clean up affected areas as quickly as possible and take immediate
steps to resolve the source of the problem.