Mold is a form of fungus found in decomposing plant or animal matter. Indoors, mold may be present year round in poorly ventilated bathrooms (tile, shower stall, or ceiling), damp basements, crawl spaces, under carpeting, in unwashed clothes, refrigerator drain pans, air conditioners, humidifiers, vaporizers, attics, garbage cans, old mattresses or pillows, and household soil. Outdoor mold season generally occurs in the spring after the snow melts, and during fall. Prime sources of mold include wooded areas, leaf piles, compost piles, drainage ditches, sewer lines, cut grass, mulches, and gardens. Avoidance measures include:

  • Keep the humidity level in your home under 35 percent.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity in damp rooms such as basements or poorly ventilated bathrooms.
  • Use bleach or disinfectant-containing benzalkomium chloride to wash surfaces where mold grows.
  • Make sure that carpet which has been cleaned is also completely dried.  Damp carpet padding can be a potential source of mold growth.
  • Avoid contact with soil, mulches, cut grass, or leaves.  Yard work should be done by someone else.  If not possible, use a mask and take preventative medications prior to exposure.
  • Do not hang clothes on outdoor clothes lines to dry.  This tends to attract mold spores as well as pollens.

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