Action Steps

Keep surfaces clean and dry—wipe up spills and overflows right away.

Store clothes and towels clean and dry—do not let them stay wet in the laundry basket or washing machine.

Don't leave water in drip pans, basements, and air conditioners.

Check the relative humidity in your home. You can buy a kit to do this at a home electronics or hardware store. Stop using your humidifier if the relative humidity is more than 50%.

If the humidity is high, don't keep a lot of houseplants.

Wipe down shower walls with a squeegee or towel after bathing or showering.

Cut down on steam in the bathroom while bathing or showering. Run a fan that is vented to the outside or open a window.

Run a fan vented to the outside when cooking.

If you have a dryer, make sure it is vented to the outside.

Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner

to dry out damp areas.

If you use a humidifier, rinse it out with water every day. Every few days, follow the manufacturer's directions for cleaning it or rinse it out with a mix of 1/2 cup chlorine bleach (Sometimes called sodium hypochlorite. "Clorox" is one brand.) and one gallon of water.

When you use your air conditioner, use the "auto fan" setting.

Throw away wet carpeting, cardboard boxes, insulation, or other things that have been very wet for more than two days.

Increase airflow in problem areas—open closet doors and move furniture away from outside walls where mold is growing. Move your furniture around once in a while.

Prevent moisture from collecting on windows by using storm windows. If you live in an apartment, talk to your landlord about putting on storm windows.

• Keep people with asthma or allergies away from damp areas of your home.

Use downspouts to direct rainwater away from the house. Make sure your gutters are working.

Slope the dirt away from your house's foundation. Make sure the dirt is lower six feet away from the house than it is next to it.

Repair leaking roofs, walls, doors, or windows.

• Cover window wells if they leak.

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