It's all around us, but mostly we can’t see it. And often we associate it with damp winter weather but it's just as common a threat during the high-humidity of summer. We're talking mold – a common fungus species whose spores are found everywhere.
In small, invisible concentrations mold spores can be harmful to health, especially for anyone who suffers a breathing disorder. Once they get together in the right environment, they party! Then you see them -- those familiar furry growths that smell musty. Dampness, condensation and high moisture content in the air promote mold growth and, with that in mind, here are a few preventive measures:
- Mop up spills quickly.
- Keep gutters clear.
- Keep a/c drip pans clean.
- Vent appliances that produce moisture.
- Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
- Open a window or run a fan in the bathroom during bathing.
- Use exhaust fans when cooking or using a dishwasher.
- Prevent condensation by covering cold surfaces.
- Take immediate action to remove mold if you spot it.
- You can clear mold from hard surfaces with non-ammonia soap or detergent. Remove and discard affected porous areas like drywall and carpet padding.
Some molds are downright dangerous and you can buy kits to test for them at your local hardware store. If in doubt, consult a professional.