1. BE ALERT to any changes in your environment – and how you respond to them. What: Decreased breathing capacity, poorer indoor air quality (IAQ), musty smell anywhere, slimy green surfaces, discolored fabrics, black areas in damp areas.
2. TAKE ACTION at the first sign of black or slimy green mold and mildew. Don’t wait for it to go away on its own. It won’t!
3. VENTILATE! Monitor repetitive mold growth and infestation areas a hygrometer. How: Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners. Open windows and doors on the opposite or different walls of rooms, also between rooms. Create a cross-flow of air. Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside. Why: To reduce and keep moisture/humidity in the air and on surfaces below 60 percent. Increase circulation.
4. REGULARLY CLEAN drip pans in air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators. Why: To prevent harmful fungi from developing and staying.
5. CHECK and repair all drain lines regularly. Why: To ensure proper flow and prevent obstructions.
6. INSULATE cold surfaces: exterior walls, floors, windows, top floor ceilings. Why: To reduce condensation.
7. PROMPTLY DRY all wet areas and items in hot and humid areas, within 24-48 hours of use. Examples: furniture, drapes, clothing, linens, carpet, tile. How: Hand wipe surfaces. Use a HEPA moisture-removal vacuum cleaner. Run electric fan or air conditioner. Why: To prevent mold from growing.
8. PROMPTLY REMOVE damp items such as clothes, towels and linens from any room or area –including floor, hamper, laundry basket, dryer, etc. Why: To minimize or remove black mold-prone items from atmosphere.
9. FIX interior and exterior leaks, cracks and seepage. Consult a licensed plumber or structural/ foundation engineer about your options. How: Check basins, bath tubs, shower enclosures, tiled areas. Remove old grout. Clean the area. Dry thoroughly. Re-grout/re-caulk each seam. Slope ground away from the base or foundation of building or structure. Plant simple landscaping. Consider waterproofing the foundation. Why: To reduce or prevent the chance for standing water.
10. CHECK heating and cooling system (s) for properly sized and fitted hoses, ducts, etc. Ducts must be free of air leaks. How: Replace damaged ducts with metal ones. Why: To ensure that the system’s air flows correctly and removes humidity.
11. MOVE furniture and other larger pieces away from the walls and corners. Create more open space between furniture pieces. Reduce the number of pieces in each room. Why: To increase “flowability” and “breathability” of the air in areas and rooms.
12. SHUT OFF appliances if moisture appears on interior surfaces such as windows.
13. CLEAR the dryer vent (s) of obstructions such as lint and tiny, torn paper. Clean thoroughly at least every six months. Why: To minimize or eliminate areas that invite black mold buildup.
14. USE area rugs versus wall-to-wall carpeting wherever possible. Why: To reduce potential for moisture build-up and black mold formation on hidden, hard-to-access surfaces.
15. OPEN a window, or run a fan – exhaust, counter, floor – when showering. Why: To allow damp surfaces and areas to dry completely.