September is Mold Awareness Month

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency dedicates the month of September as  National Indoor Mold Awareness Month.

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.

Fix leaks

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.