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Fighting Mold: Strategies That Work

Household mold is a menace. It causes structural damage to wood and other materials, and can pose a serious health risk. Unfortunately, spores can grow in only 24 hours. All they need is air, a food source and moisture. Oxygen and food sources are practically everywhere, so Tampa Bay homeowners’ best strategy for fighting mold is controlling moisture. This includes controlling your home’s indoor humidity.

ABS Air Conditioning has a few tips for keeping mold spores at bay in your home:

  • Control indoor humidity: Relative humidity is most comfortable between 35 and 50 percent. If you have water spots, muggy rooms, condensation on windows or pipes, or other moisture problems, a dehumidifier can help. Whole-house dehumidifiers can remove moisture from your air, some at the rate of 15 gallons a day. They also pump the collected water right out of your home, so you don’t have to worry about emptying collection tanks.
  • Stay on top of leaks and spills: Wipe up spills quickly. If the moisture is on upholstery or carpet, sop up as much liquid as possible, then set a fan nearby or open a window to quicken the drying process.
  • Keep up with home repairs: Fix leaky roofs, faucets, pipes and other fixtures as soon as you notice them.
  • Keep indoor air circulating: A balanced ventilation system, such as an energy recovery ventilator, can keep your home supplied with fresh, filtered air while controlling humidity and saving energy.
  • Use spot fans: When you shower or cook, turn on the fan or open a window.
  • Use fungicidal cleaners: Using fungicidal cleaning agents regularly, especially in moist areas like kitchens and bathrooms, can kill spores before they have a chance to grow.
  • Keep your ductwork clean: Having your home professionally cleaned several times a year can improve its indoor air quality by removing dust and mold, thereby preventing it from circulating through the house.
  • Schedule a complete coil and blower cleaning by an HVAC professional: The indoor parts of your air-conditioning unit–its air handler and coils–are very common places for microbial growth and dust buildup. Getting them professionally clean prevents that mold from spreading.
  • Make sure your attic and crawl space are ventilated: The attic and crawl space are common sites for mold because humidity can build up in unventilated areas.
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