Controlling Moisture

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					                                     Controlling Moisture

                                                                                         Steps to a Healthy Home
                                                                                                  Series




Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people
    without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County
                Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating
Problems Associated with Moisture

   Too much moisture can cause mold and
    mildew.
   Some people are sensitive to mold.
   Too little moisture can cause respiratory
    problems.
   Adding moisture must be monitored.
The Effects of Moisture in the Air
                Relative Humidity

   Monitor the relative humidity in your home.
   If the humidity is high, don’t keep a lot of house plants.
   Cut down on steam in the bathroom. Run a fan that is
    vented to the outside, or open a window.
   Run a fan vented to the outside when cooking.
   If you have a dryer, make sure it is vented to the
    outside – not to the crawl space, interior room, or attic.
   Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to
    dry out damp areas.
              Adding Moisture

   If the relative humidity is very low < 20%, you
    can face different issues in your home.
   Most households can increase the humidity
    level through daily activities (cooking,
    cleaning, showering, etc.).
   Some households may need to use a
    humidifier.
     Tips for Controlling Humidity

   Follow the directions when using a
    humidifier.
   With an air conditioner, use the ―auto fan‖
    setting.
   Circulate air in problem areas.
   Monitor the relative humidity.
           To Avoid Mold Growth

   Keep surfaces clean and dry.
   Wipe up spills and overflows right away.
   Store clothes and towels clean and dry.
   Don’t leave water in drip pans, basements, and air
    conditioners.
   Wipe down shower walls with a squeegee or towel
    after bathing or showering.
           To Avoid Mold Growth

   Prevent moisture from collecting on windows.
     – Use storm windows.
     – Seal the windows with a plastic film.
     – Keep the relative humidity 30-40% in winter time.
   Repair plumbing leaks.
   Discard carpeting, plaster board, insulation, or other
    materials that have been wet for more than 24 hours.
          To Avoid Mold Growth

   Use downspouts and gutters.
   Slope the soil and landscape away from your
    house’s foundation.
   Repair leaking roofs, walls, doors, and
    windows.
   Cover basement window wells if they leak.
     Tracking Down Mold & Mildew

   Anywhere there is moisture or water, mold
    can grow.
   Check under sinks, on the floor at the base of
    the shower or tub, and on window seals.
   Check under and around appliances.
     Tracking Down Mold & Mildew

   Mold/mildew also grow on ―wet‖ appliances
    — like air conditioners, dehumidifiers
    (appliances that remove moisture from the
    air), and humidifiers (appliances that add
    moisture to the air).
   Follow manufacturer’s instructions to change
    filters and clean appliances regularly.
           Controlling Moisture

   Some sources of moisture are hard to detect.
   Get the help of a professional if you suspect
    excessive moisture and you can not locate
    the cause.
                    Clean Up

   To clean up areas of mold greater than 15
    square feet, hire a professional to get rid of it.
    (See Extension publication ER027 – Selecting
    Mold Remediation Contractors at
    http://agrilifebookstore.org/.)
   Clean up mold with a mixture of laundry
    detergent, dishwashing soap or TSP
    (trisodium phosphate), and water.
   After mold is cleaned off, use a mixture of
    chlorine bleach and water to disinfect.
                   Clean Up

   Personal protection is recommended if you
    clean up the mold yourself. Use a mask rated
    N-95, splash goggles, and rubber gloves.
   After cleaning mold, using a high efficiency
    (HEPA) vacuum or air cleaner may help to
    get rid of mold spores in the air.
Controlling Moisture → Healthier Home

   Benefits people with asthma or allergies
   Benefits small children, people with long-
    term illness, and older people

				
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