Mold Exposure (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Is it possible to prevent mold in the household?

Reader Stories

The best way to prevent mold in the home is the control of moisture. Although it is impossible to eliminate all mold spores in an indoor environment, the mold spores will not grow in the absence of moisture, so controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold growth.

  • Leaks in plumbing or other structures that lead to moisture buildup should be identified and repaired.
  • Areas of leakage and water damage in the home should be cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours.
  • Use of an air conditioner or air dehumidifier during humid seasons can help reduce the potential for moisture buildup.
  • Avoid the use of carpets in humid basements and bathrooms.
  • Using fans and maintaining good ventilation in the home can also help prevent or control dampness.
  • Mold inhibitor products can be added to household paints.
  • Keep indoor humidity low (ideally between 30%-50%).
  • Use bathroom fans or open bathroom windows when showering.
  • Appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers and stoves, should be vented to the outdoors when possible.
  • Adding insulation can reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (such as windows, piping, roof, or floors).

Is it necessary to test for mold?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Association (EPA), if visible mold is present on inspection, testing is usually unnecessary. There are no EPA or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room is in compliance with any regulations concerning mold exposure. Likewise, the CDC does not recommend routine sampling and testing of mold in the home. Tolerable or acceptable limits of mold exposure for humans have not been defined, and since individuals vary in their susceptibility to mold, testing cannot reliably predict the degree of health risks from any occurrence of mold.

When mold has previously been identified and cleanup procedures have been undertaken, sampling and testing may be carried out if necessary by qualified professionals to determine that adequate cleaning has occurred.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/1/2015

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Mold - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with mold.
Mold - Location in Home Question: Describe where you found mold in your home.
Mold - Prevention Question: What do you do to prevent mold in your home?
Mold - Cleaning Up Question: Do you have any tips for cleaning up or eliminating mold?