Indoor Comfort - Health for your Home

The key to mold control is moisture control. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. If mold is a problem in your home, get rid of excess water or moisture and then clean up the mold.

Your Air Conditioning system can do a great job of assisting in drying out your home if it is working properly. Clean evaporator coils, proper refrigerant charge, and an efficient/sealed duct system can significantly drop the humidity level or dry the air and help to prevent mold. If you are experiencing water or moisture intrusion into your living environment that is not associated with your a/c system, you may have to take additional measures to dry the home and remove mold. Below you will find the basic steps you may have to take:

Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, follow the guidelines. However:

•If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult EPA's Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document is applicable to other building types.

•If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA's Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.

•If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA's guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold - it could spread mold throughout the building.

•If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.

•If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.



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