Did you spend the month of December walking in a winter wonderland? Careful - you never know what kind of mold spores of those late-night strolls might be tracking in!
John Martyny is an industrial hygienist with the National Jewish Health Center in Denver, Colorado and warns that "in winter months, indoor heat inside the house can pull air from your crawlspace into your living room."
Martyny suggests attacking mold on two fronts: removal and prevention.
- Get your house tested for mold. A moisture meter test will help. Also, an air sample from can show whether mold spores are in your home. Contact a local mold remediation specialist for testing.
- Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. If you have mold in your crawl space or basement, locate the source and stop the water from coming in.
- If your crawlspace has mold, call an environmental service to get rid of it.
- Check inside drywall for mold inside the wall. You can usually smell mold even if you can't see it. Moldy drywall must be cut out and replaced. Moldy insulation also must be removed and replaced.
- Dry water-damaged areas and items (like carpeting) within 24 to 48 hours of flooding. Don't install carpeting in areas where there is a moisture problem.
- If ceiling tiles or carpet have become moldy, they must be replaced. Throw out all wet, moldy tiles and carpeting.
- Reduce indoor humidity by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources. Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can help. If you don't have exhaust fans, crack a window in the kitchen when you're cooking or in the bathroom when you're bathing.
- Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers inside your home. Change filters regularly. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness in basements.
- Add insulation to windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors where there is potential for condensation on cold surfaces.
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