Mold

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideTips for a Healthy and Safe Home

Tips for a Healthy and Safe Home

Is it possible to prevent mold in the household?

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.

  • Water problems, such as leaks in plumbing or other structures that lead to moisture buildup, should be identified and repaired.
  • Clean and dry areas of leakage and water damage in the home within 24-48 hours to prevent mold problems.
  • 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 improve indoor air quality and help prevent or control dampness.
  • Mold inhibitor products can be added to household paints.
  • Keep indoor humidity levels 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).
Reviewed on 4/1/2016
References
REFERENCES:

"Adverse Human Health Effects Associated With Molds in the Indoor Environment." American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Feb. 24, 2011. <http://www.acoem.org/AdverseHumanHealthEffects_Molds.aspx#sthash.h7g5iNu7.dpuf>.

"Damp Indoor Spaces and Health." Institute of Medicine. May 25, 2004. <http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Damp-Indoor-Spaces-and-Health.aspx>.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Mold: Basic Facts." May 22, 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm>.

U.S. Environmental Protection Association (EPA). "Molds and Moisture." July 25, 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/mold/>.

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