Mold: it’s as old as the Earth and it’s everywhere. And under the right—or should we say wrong—set of conditions, it can actually start to grow—gasp—inside your house. In most cases, this is not cause for alarm. First, start by getting the facts. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has developed the consumer web site, www.MoldTips.com, to debunk mold misinformation and provide consumers with sound, practical advice on identifying, preventing and cleaning up household mold.
First of all, where does mold come from? Mold spores are everywhere around us and are too small to detect with the naked eye—we cannot avoid being exposed to them. Mold spores travel in the air and attach to people’s skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags and belongings. Mold is simply a part of our natural environment. Once spores enter your home, they can settle onto carpeting, upholstery, curtains and other fabric. While you cannot keep spores out of your home entirely, regular home cleaning and maintenance often can prevent mold problems before they arise.
Mold is most likely to find a place to grow in a bathroom, basement or kitchen and seeks moisture, warmth and food—the three conditions necessary for it to grow. The climate where you live and the living habits in your household can affect the ability of mold to grow as well.
Be mindful that mold spores can thrive in areas of your home that have had flooding or where leakage has occurred in roofs, pipes, or walls, or areas around house plants, especially ones that sometimes are over-watered. If you’re concerned about possible mold growth, pay close attention to keeping these areas as dry as possible, and periodically check the potential trouble spots to prevent or clean up any budding mold growth. These tips may help you get started:
Mold growth in your home is a problem—but it is one that swiftly should and can be addressed and resolved by homeowners themselves or with the assistance of professionals. For more information about preventing and cleaning up household mold, visit www.MoldTips.com, a consumer information web site provided in English and Spanish by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).