With recent storms, exceptionally rainy weather and, of course, Hurricane Irene, many homes throughout the country have been exposed to excessive moisture and water, which could lead to mold growth if not handled properly.
To help raise awareness, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency dedicates the month of September as National Indoor Mold Awareness Month. Follow these tips from CertainTeed, a building products manufacturer headquartered in Pennsylvania, to ensure a healthy home.
Homeowners should check for leaky roofs, foundations, faucets and pipes on a regular basis, making sure they aren’t allowing extra moisture to accumulate in these areas. Leaks should be fixed as soon as they are found.
Keep humidity under control
The ideal humidity for a home is between 30 and 50 percent. Relative humidity can be measured with an inexpensive moisture or humidity meter, available at most hardware stores.
Keep it dry
Homeowners should clean and dry any damp furnishings within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Check for odors
If you have had a leak, then the first sign of mold may be musty or moldy odors in the vicinity of the leak. Keep in mind you do not want to sniff for mold or touch for mold –– if you suspect a mold problem contact a certified mold inspector.
Watch for ground water
Checking the exterior of homes regularly will help avoid the accumulation of ground water, which can cause mold. If found, homeowners should route water away using downspout extensions and re-grade to slope water away from the home.