Three Ways to Detect and Fight Mold in the Home

Heavy rains and water leaks can lead to mold and mildew problems at home. But what do you do when the worst happens?

September is National Mold Awareness Month, and the nonprofit Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics recommends consumers be vigilant about preventing mold, dealing with it immediately after it occurs and choosing cleaning products wisely.

“Mold represents a health risk, especially for the approximately 50 million people in the U.S. affected by allergies,” said Nancy Sander, president of AANMA. Bleach and other toxic cleaners used to kill mold spores are known to trigger asthma and upper respiratory symptoms. “Mold is a serious issue …

Mold thrives in moisture, and in addition to the excess water from storms … high humidity helps promote mold growth,” said Eric Green of Planet People, the manufacturer of Concrobium Mold Control, an EPA-registered, 2-in-1 solution that eliminates mold and prevents it from returning, with zero bleach, ammonia or harmful chemicals.

Experts recommend: Detect it: To prevent mold, you must stop water from getting inside your home. Keep an eye out for leaking roofs, cracked foundations, clogged drains and faulty plumbing. Regularly check around kitchen and bathroom sinks, refrigerators and attics.

Dry it: Invest in a shop vacuum or water pump, which can be rented from a home improvement store, that you can use to remove water. Once water is removed, use fans to dry areas. Open doors and windows, as well as closet and cabinet doors, to help air circulate.

Ditch it: Don’t be reluctant to throw out water and mold-damaged items that are replaceable. If in doubt, throw it out, including carpeting, padding and ceiling tiles. If drywall has absorbed water, cut out 12 inches above the water level and replace once the room has dried.