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12 tips for a mold-free home

Follow these suggestions to keep mold from growing in your home:

  1. Check the exterior of your home regularly for accumulation of ground water.

  2. If you ever see bubbling or dampness in a wall, get the wall opened to see what's causing it.

  3. If your house sits above a foundation and there's a heavy rain, put electric fans under the house to dry the ground.

  4. Fix leaky faucets, pipes and other leaks as soon as you find them.

  5. Have your heating and air conditioning system serviced each year.

  6. Clean and dry out wet or damp areas within 48 hours.

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  7. Keep indoor humidity below 60 percent by venting bathrooms and dryers to the outside, using air conditioners and dehumidifiers, using exhaust fans or opening windows when cooking, washing dishes or cleaning, and increasing ventilation.

  8. If you have a leak that saturates carpet, ceiling tiles or upholstery, remove them.

  9. Use paint that has an EPA-approved mold inhibitor.

  10. Clean kitchens and bathrooms with mold-killing cleaners.

  11. Don't carpet bathrooms.

  12. Don't put vinyl wallpaper on walls that are at risk of sustaining water damage. 

For more information about mold, see the pamphlet "Protect Yourself from Mold" issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Pat Curry is a contributing editor based in Georgia.

-- Updated Aug. 30, 2005

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