Moisture control is the key to mold control. The following tips will help prevent moisture, condensation, and water problems throughout the house:

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Water stains on ceiling are tested for mold before repair and painting.

• When water leaks or spills occur, act quickly. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried within 24 to 48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.

• Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.

• Make sure the ground slopes away from your home’s foundation so that water does not enter or collect around it.

• Keep air-conditioning drip pans clean and drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.

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• Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep relative humidity below 60 percent, and ideally between 30 and 50 percent. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter—a small, inexpensive ($10 to $50) instrument available at many hardware stores.

• If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls, or pipes, immediately dry the wet surface and remedy the moisture/water source.

• Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible.

• Employ air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers when needed to reduce humidity. Increase the air temperature to reduce condensation.

• Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows when cooking, running the dishwasher, or washing dishes.

• Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort