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Hot Tip for Mold Prevention: Airborne mold spores from live indoor plants can travel in air currents to cause health problems for occupants and possible mold growth in the home through mold cross-contamination. To help prevent mold, do not keep live plants indoors. Also, you should not keep inside dried flowers and plants upon which mold loves to feast, utilizing high indoor humidity to drive the mold growth.

Hot Tip for Mold Prevention: Do not store firewood anywhere inside a home or basement/crawl space, or outside close to entry doors and windows. Store firewood away from the house, and off the ground and covered by a waterproof tarp to reduce rain and high humidity on the firewood, and thus minimize mold growth on the firewood. Moldy firewood indoors or outdoors generates airborne mold spores that can mold cross contaminate a home and its heating/cooling system.

Learn all of the mold prevention steps you can do in preventive maintenance and in building a new home or other building
to prevent mold infestation problems by reading our new book Do-It-BEST-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, & Remediation, available from Mold Mart, or on our online mold products catalog.

 

Mold Prevention Tips  Also visit: More Mold Prevention Tips
       
         Q. We have 5 stores that have been affected by the hurricane in LA. What can you suggest we do as a preventative measure that would not be harmful to our clothing and personnel that would decrease or eliminate the potential of mold growth before it happens.  [Sept. 9, 2005]
         A. You are certainly wise to try to prevent mold growth in the view of the Louisiana Hurricane Katrina. Your first step should be to operate several programmable dehumidifiers in each store area, warehouse area, and office area to substantially reduce the high indoor humidity [made much higher by the massive flooding, with the resulting evaporation and humidity creation] to a mold-discouraging 30 to 40 percent. Second, you should be reducing the airborne mold spores in each area of your stores, warehouse, offices, by the use of the Friedrich Air Cleaner, rated the most effective air cleaner by Consumer Reports magazine. The massive flooding is going to create massive mold growth which will generate billions of airborne mold spores to mold cross contaminate most homes and buildings in southern Louisiana with elevated levels of airborne mold spores. Third, you can spray the protective fungicidal coating, a Mold Home Remedy Recipe on walls and ceilings, attic areas, basements, that are out of sight and for which you don't mind having a white protective coating that is the result of spraying on surfaces. Fourth, you should be very vigilant for signs of mold growth anywhere in your stores or on merchandise. Learn the 25 steps for safe and effective mold remediation.

        Q. Can you tell me which materials (i.e. used for bathroom floors and walls, under sinks, and so on) are less likely to produce or encourage the growth of mold, and other toxic pollutants? and which ones are more likely to collect these things? [May 22, 2005]
        A. The very best is to use marble, or ceramic tile, set in concrete with adequate amounts of waterproofing compounded mixed into the setting concrete beneath the marble or ceramic tiles, and into the cement grout between the tiles. Mold cannot eat cement, marble, or ceramic tile. Both marble and ceramic tile can be washed easily and frequently to remove deposited mold spores and organic dust or dirt [mold food]. By using enough waterproofing compound in the setting cement and in the grout, the tile or marble is an effective moisture barrier to keep moisture from rising up [wicking up] from the concrete or wood or earth beneath the marble or tiles. Similarly, surface water [cleaning, spills, flooding] on top of the marble or tiles will not penetrate the marble or tiles to get to any wood surfaces beneath the marble or tiles. Marble and ceramic tile can be installed on either a concrete floor, or a properly built wood floor.  If possible, avoid or minimize using any cellulose-based building materials such as wood, OSB, plywood, drywall, etc. Read many more mold prevention tips in the mold prevention section of Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, and Remediation.

        
Q. I have a new cedar fence bordering my Trex deck, which has a green coloration starting on the side, which gets very little sun. How can I remove it without damaging the fence or deck? The fence is not stained.  [May 20, 2005]
         A. Scrub thoroughly with Borax laundry detergent, a natural mold cleaner, in warm water. If there is any remaining mold growth, physically remove it with such power tools as sander, planer, and grinder with wire brush attachment. You can use a low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipe. Then paint with a high-quality outdoor, oil-based paint containing adequate amounts of mildicide. Then, use a high-pressure sprayer, from time to time, using Borax laundry detergent as the cleansing agent to wash away deposited landed mold spores/organic dust/dirt from the surface of the fence.

           Q.
We built a beautiful log home 11 years ago in a
wonderful wooded area. We now have to redo the logs this year. Our 3 foot pine eves have
what we think is
mold on a good portion of all of them. How do we get rid of the black (mold)? How do we treat them so that it doesn't happen again? Also, our cedar fascia is black and must be retreated. We are beginning to think we should cut down every tree surrounding our property so that this doesn't happen again. [
May 16, 2005]
        
 A. It will certainly help to cut a few trees to allow direct sunlight [with mold killing ultraviolet rays] to bathe more of your house with sunrays. To get rid of the present mold growth, you should follow the 25 steps for safe and effective mold remediation.  After you get rid of the current mold problem, seal your logs with several coatings of a clear, liquid plastic to make sure no moisture gets into the wood to enable mold to grow therein. You also ought to use periodically a pressure sprayer to wash away the mold spores and organic dirt that land or get deposited onto the log surfaces and crevices to help prevent the mold growth that begins with the mold eating the organic dirt and then spreading into the wood itself.

       Q.
Do you have a fungicide suitable for spraying on unpainted sheet rock and, if so,  how long will the sheet rock be protected ?
[April 26, 2005] 
        A. If possible, use a low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipe. The mold protection should last for years, but if there is a water problem making the drywall wet continually by a plumbing water leak, roof leak, etc., the drywall is going to be wet for more than 24 hours [the minimum time for mold growth to begin growing], and thus there can be internal mold growth inside the drywall.. Fungicides can only kill mold and protect against future mold growth to the extent that they can soak into building materials. Learn the 25 steps for safe and effective mold remediation.

     Q.
What can I put into my home safe to prevent mold and mildew problems? [April 24, 2005]
     A. Here are some tips to protect the interior of your security safe against mold growth---
             1. Thoroughly wash all interior surfaces of the safe with Borax laundry detergent, a natural mold cleaner, in warm water.
             2. You can use a low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipe.

          Q. I purchased a home that was built in the mid 1960's and I am remodeling it.  I have the walls exposed (no sheet rocking) and would like to know what would be the best preventative measure to take to prevent mold.  What would you suggest? [March 23, 2005]
          A. Carefully inspect the timbers and all interior surfaces for any water and mold damage. If there is any, you need to remove such water or mold damaged materials, or at least do adequate and thorough mold remediation, as explained in the 25 steps recommended for safe and effective mold remediation.  You can use a low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipe to be assured that there are no remaining, living mold spores in the remodeling area [mold spores are too small to be seen with the naked eye]. Then, spray one wet coating of a low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipe fungicidal coating. Prior to closing in the walls, you would be wise to mold test the surfaces with the Scotch tape lift sampling method of mold sample collection, and to mold test the room air with do-it-yourself mold test kits available at a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store.

         Q. I have a question on preventing mold in my basement. I have a basement that I am going to install wood and drywall in the next few months.  Is there anything you would recommend on the concrete walls or on the front of the wood/insulation before I install the drywall. I wanted to prevent mold from ever growing. [Jan. 29, 2005]
         A. You should consider doing one or more of the following to mold-proof your basement in advance of doing basement finishing with wood, insulation, and drywall. First, carefully inspect all surfaces of the basement for possible water and mold problems. Second, use a hidden moisture meter to scan the floors and walls to determine if there are elevated levels of moisture in them. Third, if there are no other present moisture or mold problems to take care of, then apply about a one-quarter to one-half inch thick of a cement coating containing adequate amounts of waterproofing compound to the walls to provide extra protection against future water penetration. Fourth, consider making your flooring ceramic tile set in cement with waterproofing compound and using cement as the tile grout, also utilizing waterproofing compound in the grout.

         Q.
I'm redesigning a master bathroom.  I'd like to put two  closets (for clothing) in the bathroom.  There will be a vent in the bathroom ceiling but I'm concerned about mildew or mold growing on my clothing.  Is this something I should be concerned about? [Jan. 23, 2005]
         A. That would be ok if you install a powerful exhaust fan that takes humid bathroom air directly to the outdoors. You would need to run it during and after all showers and tub baths. You might also consider utilizing in the bathroom [away from tub and shower] a programmable dehumidifier which keeps bathroom humidity to a mold-discouraging 30 to 40%. You need plenty of ventilation in the attic area if you want to avoid mold growth on your clothing. I would recommend that you install full louver closet doors to allow plenty of air movement. You can use a low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipe.  The floors and walls, including the floor of the closet should be ceramic tile set in cement which has adequate amounts of waterproofing compound. The tile should have cement as the grout [in any color you desire] with waterproofing compound. Closet walls and the louver doors need to be treated  with an glossy or semi glossy enamel paint and/or with a clear plastic coating painted on as barriers to water penetration of the building materials. 

         Q.
Are house plants dangerous for people allergic to mold and house dust? [Dec. 19, 2004]
         A. Yes, because indoor plants thrive well indoors with regular watering. Mold loves to grow on plants, dead plant material, soil, and fertilizers. The mold growth throws into the air large number of airborne mold spores which can mold cross contaminate the house and cause mold health problems for occupants. Having no LIVE or DEAD indoor plants makes for good mold prevention. Only plastic and silk plants are safe because of no mold spore generation.

         Q. We are in the process of designing and building a new home. What precautions should we take to prevent future mold infestation in our home?  [June 3, 2004]
       
 A.. To prevent mold growth in new home construction, all wood, plywood, chipboard, drywall, and other cellulose-based construction materials must never be stored on the ground during construction, or be left uncovered outdoors [to keep the materials dry if it rains]. To provide a defense against mold growth, until the house is completely shingled and sided and windows and doors installed, the house-under-construction should be covered completely at the end of every work day to keep the home from being rained on. Beneath your roof shingles should be a high-quality roofing membrane to waterproof your proof. Covering every night is time-consuming, but it is far better than owning a mold-infested home which will harm both your health and your finances. Inspect all timbers and building materials for visual evidence of mold growth [e.g., black or dark blue or green stains on timbers]. Spray all timbers, plywood, chipboard, drywall, etc. on all surfaces with at least two set sprayings of wood protectant [ Mold Home Remedy Recipes ], with drying in between the sprayings. Make sure your plumbing water supply, drain, and sewer pipes and plumbing fixtures are of the highest quality and installed by a master plumber, and not by some untrained illegal immigrants [a huge quality control problem in the home building industry]. Be sure your concrete floor slab, garage concrete floor, and basement floors and walls are built with sufficient amounts of waterproofing compound mixed into the concrete to make the concrete absolutely impervious to water penetration. Install a high quality water proof barrier [not just plastic sheeting] beneath concrete floors as an additional water barrier to keep water from rising out of the ground to wet the concrete and therefore the wood walls resting on the concrete floors. When you first have water running in your plumbing system, use a hidden moisture meter to scan all floors, walls, and ceilings for hidden water leaks. Make sure your heating/cooling ducts are made of sheet metal with any insulation being on the outside of the ducts, not inside the ducts. Sheet metal ducts without insulation inside can be cleaned of mold contamination if ever necessary in the future. Make sure all dryer, kitchen, and bathroom vents go by well-connected pipe directly outdoors and not in the attic, crawl space, or walls or ceiling. Install high-capacity ultraviolet lights [388,000 uwats per second of exposure to air movement] in the return air ducts of your heating/cooling system to kill all airborne mold spores and other biological airborne threats.. Install a "mass media", very thick hepa filter in the return air duct to filter out airborne mold spores and other pollutants.

Building Bathrooms Out of Marble and Glass Block

Prevent mold by making your bathroom floors and walls out of marble [set in cement with cement containing adequate amounts of waterproofing compound]. and/or glass blocks [set with non-wood-based rods which are sold with the blocks, or in cement with adequate amounts of waterproofing compound].
 

e trained and certified as a Certified Mold Inspector, Certified Mold Remediator, and/or Certified Environmental Hygienist.

Solve Your Home Mold Problems for $99 anywhere in the world with the UNLIMITED (60 days) expert email guidance, direction, and assistance of Phillip Fry, Certified Mold Inspector, Certified Environmental Inspector, Certified Mold Remediator, and Certified Environmental Hygienist!
 
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Learn the 25 steps for safe and effective mold remediation.

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