Mold

The Impact of Mold:

  • Not all mold that appears black in color is “Black mold”.
  • “Black mold” also does not require different precautions than other molds.
  • All molds have the potential to cause negative health effects, but they are not always toxic.
  • Mold produces allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks.
  • People with allergies, immune suppression, or lung disease may be more susceptible to fungal infections.
  • Mold has not been proven to cause pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss.
  • “Black mold” has not been identified as a cause of human illness.
  • If you believe you are sick because of mold in your building, speak with your doctor to determine the appropriate action to take.

Why Mold Grows:

  • Mold is common in buildings and homes.
  • Mold spores can enter buildings from open doorways, windows, and ventilation systems with outdoor air intakes.
  • Mold will grow anywhere indoors where there is excessive moisture.
  • Wet materials such as paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood are especially good for growing mold.

Removing Mold:

  • First, identify and fix if there is a problem with water or moisture.
  • If the mold is less than 10 square feet, you can clean the mold up yourself.
  • Wear gloves, goggles, and a N-95 respirator (face mask).
  • Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent (such as bleach) and water, and dry completely.
    • If using bleach, do not use more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
    • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
    • Open windows and doors for fresh air.
  • Moldy absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles and carpet should be thrown away.
  • If you think the HVAC system may be contaminated with mold do not run it before cleaning it.
  • It is not necessary to test or identify the species of mold growing in a residence.
  • If mold covers greater than 10 square feet, or you cannot manage the amount on your own, contact a professional who has experience cleaning mold.

Preventing Mold:

  • Control indoor moisture levels and humidity.
  • Use air conditioner or dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Fix roof leaks, landscaping and gutters that direct water into or under the building.

 

  • For more information on what to do in the case of mold, call 211 or search our online database:
  • www.helplinecenter.org/211database
    • Try the following keyword search items
      • Mold 
      • General Minor Home Repair Program
      • Home Rehabilitation Programs

Sources:

Disclaimer: This HelpSheet is developed by the Helpline Center. Helpsheets provide a brief overview of the designated topic. For more information, call 211 or text your zip code to 898211.

Updated: August 2021