Safeguard your family’s health. Remove mold and mildew from your home.


Damp places in your house or apartment are an open invitation to mold and mildew. These fungi can grow anywhere moisture lingers, such as on damp basement walls, around leaky pipes or in poorly caulked areas around the shower. Several studies have linked mold to the onset of allergy and asthma attacks, and some scientific evidence suggests that mold can put children at risk of developing asthma.

Be vigilant when you see mold developing in a basement or other living space. Promptly remove it using soap and water or, if necessary, chlorine bleach. If using chlorine bleach, mix 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Wear gloves and eye protection. Open windows and doors for ventilation. Never mix ammonia and chlorine bleach—they react chemically to create chlorine, a highly toxic gas.

For large tracts of mold, call a mold-removal professional. Be sure to fix the source of the water (such as a leaky pipe, or rainwater slipping down along an outer foundation wall). Otherwise the mold will be back.

To prevent mold and mildew, use the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen. Make sure they vent to the outdoors and not to the attic. Keep attic and crawl spaces properly vented and indoor humidity at 40 to 60 percent. If you have a dehumidifier, clean the water pan regularly to keep it free of bacteria and other pathogens.