FBCH Industrial Hygiene Service Department of Public Health: Tips to Reduce Mold Growth
Moisture Control – The Key to Mold Prevention!
Mold is part of the natural environment. Preventative maintenance is key to preventing mold.
According to the FBCH Industrial Hygiene Service Department of Public Health, routine measures can be put in place to help prevent mold growth in your home.
The most effective step is to eliminate a water source, because mold must have water to grow. Mold growth is associated with moisture, water leaks or elevated humidity levels.
Controlling mold is a matter of controlling moisture.
Tips to reduce mold
1. Report water problems or leaks to the housing manager to be repaired as soon as possible.
2. Keep indoor humidity levels low, 30-50% is ideal. Vent bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside. Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Increase seasonal cross-flow ventilation by opening doors, and use exhaust fans when cooking and dishwashing.
3. Do not install carpet in areas that are likely to be damp, like a bathroom, garage or foyer.
4. Dry out wet areas as soon as possible but at least within 48 hours.
5. Clean small amounts of mold on hard surfaces, less than 10 square feet, using a mild detergent and damp sponge or cloth. Wear rubber gloves and scrub the affected area with soapy water until clean. Rinse with clean water. Let the treated area dry naturally overnight.
You may want to consider wearing an N95 respirator to protect against breathing airborne spores while cleaning. Consult your doctor before doing any mold cleanup if you have pre-existing medical conditions that may be exacerbated by mold exposure.
•Do not use ammonia cleaners.
•Do not clean up mold if you have been diagnosed with mold allergies or sensitivities.
•Do not clean large areas of mold. If the mold comes back after cleaning, either the area is still getting wet, or it wasn’t all removed during cleaning. Check again for a leak or other water source and repair as needed. Repeat cleaning twice; then allow complete drying.
Residents with issues or concerns about mold should report it immediately by submitting a work order.
Excerpt from Fort Belvoir On Post Housing: What You Should Know About Mold, FBCH IHS, DPH