Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

A Growing Problem
 Mold in your home

April 2003 Issue

A Growing Problem
Mold in Your Home

Little Shutterbugs
Introducing Kids
to Photography

Genealogy for Kids

SUV Safety

Vision Screening
for Kids

Did You Know?

Mail Bag

Gerber Life
Family Times Archive

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It never fails. With just a little dampness and warmth you can suddenly be confronted with mold. In small amounts, this pesky natural spore is little more than a slightly smelly nuisance. But, for people who have sensitive systems and are especially susceptible to allergies, mold becomes a greater problem.

Molds are part of nature – tiny microscopic spores that float through both outdoor and indoor air. Molds are important in nature’s decomposition process – helping break down dead organic matter like leaves and dead trees but indoors, mold should be avoided. Indoor molds take hold and grow when they land on a surface that is wet. A moist environment is an ideal growth medium for all mold spores.

Over time, molds can destroy the things they grow upon – causing damage to carpets, drapes, furnishings, etc. Indoor molds can also cause a variety of health problems in sensitive individuals such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rashes (typical allergic reaction symptoms). For those with asthma, molds are of particular concern and cause attacks in those with a particular sensitivity.

The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from the start. The key to prevention is the elimination of moisture in your home. Mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends the following steps to prevent mold growth in your home:

When water leaks or spills occur indoors – act quickly. If wet or damp areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill occurs, in most cases mold will not grow.

Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.

Make sure the ground slopes away from your home foundation so water does not enter or collect around the foundation.

Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.

Keep indoor humidity low, if possible below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent).

Condensation is a sign of high humidity. If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, act quickly to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture source.

Vent appliances that produce moisture (clothes dryers, stoves, etc.) to the outside.

Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers whenever necessary.

Use a bathroom or exhaust fan or open a window when showering, cooking, running the dishwasher, etc.

With a bit of quick action and prevention, tiny spores won’t stand a chance of becoming a big problem in your home. For more information on molds consult your state or local health department.

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