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Controlling Moisture. Steps to a Healthy Home Series. Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

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controlling moisture

Controlling Moisture

Steps to a Healthy Home Series

Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating

problems associated with moisture
Problems Associated with Moisture
  • Too much moisture can cause mold and mildew.
  • Some people are sensitive to mold.
  • Too little moisture can cause respiratory problems.
  • Adding moisture must be monitored.
relative humidity
Relative Humidity
  • Monitor the relative humidity in your home.
  • If the humidity is high, don’t keep a lot of house plants.
  • Cut down on steam in the bathroom. Run a fan that is vented to the outside, or open a window.
  • Run a fan vented to the outside when cooking.
  • If you have a dryer, make sure it is vented to the outside – not to the crawl space, interior room, or attic.
  • Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to dry out damp areas.
adding moisture
Adding Moisture
  • If the relative humidity is very low < 20%, you can face different issues in your home.
  • Most households can increase the humidity level through daily activities (cooking, cleaning, showering, etc.).
  • Some households may need to use a humidifier.
tips for controlling humidity
Tips for Controlling Humidity
  • Follow the directions when using a humidifier.
  • With an air conditioner, use the “auto fan” setting.
  • Circulate air in problem areas.
  • Monitor the relative humidity.
to avoid mold growth
To Avoid Mold Growth
  • Keep surfaces clean and dry.
  • Wipe up spills and overflows right away.
  • Store clothes and towels clean and dry.
  • Don’t leave water in drip pans, basements, and air conditioners.
  • Wipe down shower walls with a squeegee or towel after bathing or showering.
to avoid mold growth1
To Avoid Mold Growth
  • Prevent moisture from collecting on windows.
    • Use storm windows.
    • Seal the windows with a plastic film.
    • Keep the relative humidity 30-40% in winter time.
  • Repair plumbing leaks.
  • Discard carpeting, plaster board, insulation, or other materials that have been wet for more than 24 hours.
to avoid mold growth2
To Avoid Mold Growth
  • Use downspouts and gutters.
  • Slope the soil and landscape away from your house’s foundation.
  • Repair leaking roofs, walls, doors, and windows.
  • Cover basement window wells if they leak.
tracking down mold mildew
Tracking Down Mold & Mildew
  • Anywhere there is moisture or water, mold can grow.
  • Check under sinks, on the floor at the base of the shower or tub, and on window seals.
  • Check under and around appliances.
tracking down mold mildew1
Tracking Down Mold & Mildew
  • Mold/mildew also grow on “wet” appliances — like air conditioners, dehumidifiers (appliances that remove moisture from the air), and humidifiers (appliances that add moisture to the air).
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to change filters and clean appliances regularly.
controlling moisture1
Controlling Moisture
  • Some sources of moisture are hard to detect.
  • Get the help of a professional if you suspect excessive moisture and you can not locate the cause.
clean up
Clean Up
  • To clean up areas of mold greater than 15 square feet, hire a professional to get rid of it. (See Extension publication ER027 – Selecting Mold Remediation Contractors at https://agrilifebookstore.org/.)
  • Clean up mold with a mixture of laundry detergent, dishwashing soap or TSP (trisodium phosphate), and water.
  • After mold is cleaned off, use a mixture of chlorine bleach and water to disinfect.
clean up1
Clean Up
  • Personal protection is recommended if you clean up the mold yourself. Use a mask rated N-95, splash goggles, and rubber gloves.
  • After cleaning mold, using a high efficiency (HEPA) vacuum or air cleaner may help to get rid of mold spores in the air.
controlling moisture healthier home
Controlling Moisture → Healthier Home
  • Benefits people with asthma or allergies
  • Benefits small children, people with long-term illness, and older people