Part 2 of Avoiding and Preventing Mould
Basement or Crawl Space
- Reduce the amount of clothes, paper and furnishings stored in the basement. Discard badly damaged materials. Eliminate clutter to improve air circulation. Only washable items should be stored.
- Dehumidify the basement during the warm months.
- Avoid carpets on slab-on-grade or below-grade floors.
- Periodically clean the drain in your basement floor. Use an environmentally friendly drain cleaner; let it stand for a few minutes, then flush with plenty of water. Keep the drain trap filled with water.
- Avoid standing water. Keep sump pits covered (you can use plywood wrapped with plastic).
- Regularly clean and replace furnace filters. Use a pleated one-inch filter, not a coarse pleat filter.
- If you have a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), clean the filter often.
- If you notice mould or signs of dampness, such as water on your windows or wet spots elsewhere, do not humidify. Disconnect furnace humidifiers that are no longer used.
- If you have electric baseboards, vacuum the units, or have a professional clean them for you.
- Check that your clothes dryer exhausts to the outside.
- Remove lint every time you use the dryer.
- Don’t hang-dry laundry indoors.
- Dry your laundry tub and washing machine after you use them.
- Check the bathroom fan to make sure it exhausts to the outside.
- Turn the bathroom fan on when you shower. Keep it running for a few minutes after you finish your shower.
- Take short showers.
- Keep surfaces that get wet, such as the walls around the bathtub and shower, clean and dry.
- If there is a carpet in your bathroom, remove it.
- Check for water leaks.
- Keep drains in good shape by removing debris from them.
- If the fan over your stove exhausts outside, use it when you cook.
- Minimize open boiling.
- Keep your drains in good shape.
- There’s a drip pan at the back of the refrigerator. Pull the refrigerator out to clean the drip pan. At the same time, vacuum dust from the coils at the back of the refrigerator.
- Check under the kitchen sink to make sure there are no leaks.
- Take out the garbage daily to prevent odours and spoiling.
Closets and Bedrooms
- Get rid of clothes and other stored items that you don’t use. Keeping your closets and bedrooms tidy makes it easier for air to circulate – and harder for mould to grow.
Other Parts of the Home
- A dehumidifier helps to reduce moisture in the home during the warmer months. Close the windows when the dehumidifier is running.
- When family and friends come into the home, have them take off their shoes.
- Vacuum often. If you are buying a vacuum cleaner, try to get one with a HEPA filter.
- Clean hard floors with a damp mop.
- Do not bring furniture, clothing, books, etc. that have been stored in a mouldy place into your home.
- Cut down the number of potted plants in the house – soil is a good place for mould.
- Regularly check the condition of the roof and exterior finish for any places where water might enter.
- Make sure that your eavestroughs and downspouts are connected and working properly, and that they are free of debris.
- Install downspout extensions, to lead water away from the building.
- Deal promptly with any problems that you find.
Adapted from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s booklet Fighting Mold – The Homeowners’ Guide.