Mold and Asthma
Mold is one of several asthma triggers in your home. It can trigger asthma attacks in persons who are allergic or sensitized to molds, and can worsen asthma in non-allergic (non-sensitized) people. Exposure to mold comes through inhaling or breathing it in. For more information on the health effects of mold visit the Environmental Protection Agency website.
Common Causes of Mold
- Plumbing pipe and fixture leaks
- Roof leaks
- High humidity levels from:
- clothes dryer that is not properly vented
- non-working exhaust fans in kitchen and bathrooms
- a large number of indoor houseplants
- unvented kerosene or gas heaters
- water collection in crawl spaces or basements
Use the UGA Extension Mold & Moisture Checklist to identify the mold problems in your home.
Steps to Prevent Mold
- Maintain indoor relative humidity under 50 – 60%
- Repair leaky faucets and pipes
- Use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms
- Dry water damaged areas and items within 24 to 48 hours
Testing mold in your home is usually unnecessary and can be expensive. Hundreds of types of mold can be found in the home environment, and the process for cleaning mold is similar no matter what type of mold is in your home. Shop carefully before Hiring a Mold Remediation Contractor. This publication from Cornell and Lousiana State University Extension provides helpful information. In Georgia, and many other states, there are no licensing requirements for mold professionals. To find a qualified mold remediator, look for someone with training and credentials from a reputable professional mold and/or indoor air quality association.
Most small areas of mold (less than 10 square feet) can be cleaned without hiring a professional; however, care should be taken to reduce health risks. Tips for mold cleanup:
- Dry out all wet materials within 48 hours of water damage
- Porous materials (carpet, wood, ceiling tiles, etc.): Dry them out completely. These items may need to be discarded.
- Non-porous materials (metal, solid wood, plastic, etc.): Use detergent and water to clean. Dry completely.
More information on mold can be found in the UGA publications: