Mold: A hidden threat

Mold is one of those home hazards that may not be obvious, but it can have far-reaching health consequences to you and your children. Molds are a form of fungi, like mushrooms and yeast, which reproduce through spore formation. In small quantities they’re harmless, but once they find an area to colonize, they can grow and begin causing all sorts of problems: allergic reactions, lung infections, toxicity leading to kidney and liver damage, and even colonization of human respiratory tracts.

Keep your home mold-free with these tips:

  • Dry out. Mold thrives on moisture, so take steps to eliminate it right away. Clean up spills large and small; use fans and dehumidifiers to control the moisture content of your environment. Watch for condensation building up on windows. Make sure your home has adequate ventilation so excess moisture can dry up quickly.
  • Clean up. Scour sinks, bathrooms, and other areas where moisture can linger (like trash cans) monthly with bleach. Be sure to thoroughly dry any surfaces you wash. Dry or replace any furnishings or materials that get wet.
  • Inspect everything. Check your home regularly for leaks, condensation, and any other sources of moisture. Go beyond the obvious: look beneath sinks, desks and carpeting, and inside forced air ducts. Perform regular maintenance on heating and air conditioning systems to ensure that they’re not contributing to a mold problem.
  • Get help. Most of your mold problems can be eradicated through consistent effort, but if you find a major infestation, don’t take any chances. Work with a reputable clean-up specialist to get rid of mold thoroughly and safely.
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