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:

EPA: Mold Guide

LSU: Mold Info

Oregon Health Authority: Mold Info

Or contact the local OSU Extension Service Office: 503-842-3433