Last Updated: February 20, 2019
Mold: Strategies to prevent moisture
Images: UNC CEHS COEC Purchased
Big Idea: The first step in controlling moisture and preventing mold is to identify and fix the source of moisture, such as a leaking pipe.
- Use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from a room or home. Do not confuse this with a humidifier, which adds moisture. Humidifiers are not recommended for use by asthma patients, especially if they have mold allergies.
- Monitor the potential for moisture to seep or wick through materials, such as debris in a gutter holding water that may soak into dry wall.
- Run the exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms when cooking and bathing.
- To help prevent the buildup of moisture, homeowners should keep humidity levels at an ideal range of 30% to 50%. Humidity monitors like this one are available in home improvement and department stores and online at costs as low as $10 to $15. The monitors can be helpful tools for health professionals visiting homes of their patients. Another preventive step is to run the HVAC system at a temperature that is low enough to help the home maintain an appropriate humidity level.
CDC, 2014, Facts about Mold and Dampness
David Lipton, NCDHHS Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology, “Managing Citizen Inquiries about Dampness and Mold Growth,” 2016
National Health Lung and Biology Institute, “Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma,” 2007