Molds are fungi—they are part of our environment, and tiny mold spores, invisible to the naked eye, are present in both outdoor and indoor air. They grow on damp or wet organic matter, including wood, ceiling tiles, carpets, wallpaper, drywall and cardboard. Mildew is mold in its early stage.
Mold growth indoors is unhealthy and can damage your home, because molds gradually destroy the things upon which they grow.
If you have mold, mildew or moist areas in your home, it can impact your health and the value of your property. Some species of mold are worse than others. Kits are available from home improvement stores or online to test mold to see if it is toxic.
The key to controlling mold is controlling moisture. If you do not fix the problem of water seepage, leaking, or condensation, the mold will return.
Dry water damaged areas within 24-48 hours of damage to keep mold from getting established.
If infected, scrub mold off of hard surfaces with detergent and water. Dry thoroughly. Commercial fungicides may be helpful in removing mold and inhibiting spores, but they are useless if the area is re-exposed to water or high moisture levels. Common household bleach (diluted 1 cup per gallon of water) can also be effective on non-porous surfaces that will not be damaged by the bleach. If the moldy area is more than 10 square feet, consult EPA’s “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home,” or consider professional mediation.