*THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT DOES NOT TEST FOR OR DO ASSESSMENTS FOR MOLD*
Q. How do I know if I have mold?
- Indicators of high indoor humidity
- Musty smell
- Visible white or black mold on indoor surfaces (windows, walls, closets, or behind furniture).
*Mold grows in an environment of high humidity (moisture in the air)*
Q. Why might there be high humidity in my home?
- Moisture directly from occupants (a family of 3-4 can add 3 gallons of water to the air in one day.)
- Occupant-related household activities (e.g. cooking, etc.)
- Moisture from combustible sources (e.g. gas cooking stove, etc.)
- Drying of wet construction materials
- Moisture from basements, crawl spaces, or concrete floor slabs
- Water leaks (e.g. plumbing, roofs, windows, etc.)
*The key to mold control is moisture control*
Q. How can I control moisture?
- Vent clothes dryer outdoors
- Remove firewood stored indoors
- Turn off humidifier
- Reduce the number of plants
- Don’t use un-vented combustion heaters
- Fix leaky plumbing (as soon as possible)
- Use existing kitchen and bathroom fans
- Use portable electric DEHUMIDIFIER
- Run bathroom fan or open window when showering
- Keep indoor humidity low, below 60% (ideally between 30-50%)
What should I do if my house or apartment floods?
- Moisture or water from flooding, plumbing leaks, and roof leaks will start mold growth
- Start drying process as soon as possible
- Open windows
- Extensive water damage often requires experienced professional
- Carpets that are not dried within 24-48 hours should be removed and discarded
- Replace moldy drywall./li>
Q. How can I get my house tested for mold?
Consult the Yellow Pages or Internet. There are no local testing companies.
Recommendations For Do-It-Yourself Mold Clean Up
- Follow EPA guidelines (see link at the bottom of the page)
- Scrub mold inside the home with a soap solution
- Rinse with plain water and dry
- Molds are allergenic whether dead or alive, so mold must be removed, not just killed
- Bleach alone does not remove allergens
- Replace exterior and interior water-damaged materials.
For additional information please see the links below:
Or contact the local OSU Extension Service Office: 503-842-3433