Mold-proofing your home, room by room
Basement or crawl space
- Reduce the amount of clothes, paper and furnishings stored in the basement. Discard badly damaged materials. Eliminate clutter to improve air circulation. Only washable items should be stored.
- Dehumidify the basement during the warm months.
- Avoid carpets on slab-on-grade or below grade floors.
- Periodically clean the drain in your basement floor. Use half a cup of bleach, let it stand for a few minutes, then flush with plenty of water. Keep the drain trap filled with water.
- Avoid standing water. Keep sump pits covered (you can use plywood wrapped with plastic).
- Regularly clean and replace furnace filters. Use a pleated one-inch filter, not a coarse filter.
- If you have a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), clean the filter inside the HRV often.
- If you notice molds or signs of dampness, such as water on your windows or wet spots elsewhere, do not humidify. Disconnect furnace humidifiers that are no longer used.
- If you have electric baseboards, vacuum the units, or have a professional clean them for you.
- Check that your clothes dryer exhausts to the outside.
- Remove lint every time you use the dryer.
- Don’t hang-dry laundry indoors.
- Dry your laundry tub and washing machine after you use them.
- Check the bathroom fan to make sure it exhausts to the outside.
- Turn the bathroom fan on when you shower. Keep it running for a few minutes after you finish your shower.
- Take short showers.
- Keep surfaces that get wet, such as the walls around the bathtub and shower, clean and dry.
- If there is a carpet in your bathroom, remove it.
- Check for water leaks.
- Keep drains in good shape by removing debris from them.
To clean a drain:
- Pour a handful of baking soda into it.
- Add a cup of vinegar.
- Put the plug in the drain.
- Let the vinegar and baking soda work for about 20 minutes.
- Run fresh water into the drain.
If the drain is still clogged, use a small plumbing snake.
- If the fan over your stove exhausts outside, use it when you cook.
- Minimize open boiling.
- Keep your drains in good shape. Follow the steps in the Bathrooms section above.
- There’s a drip pan at the back of the refrigerator. Pull the refrigerator out to clean the drip pan. At the same time, vacuum dust from the coils at the back of the refrigerator.
- Check under the kitchen sink to make sure there are no leaks.
- Take out the garbage daily to prevent odours and spoiling.
Closets and bedrooms
- Get rid of clothes and other stored items that you don’t use. Keeping your closets and bedrooms tidy makes it easier for air to circulate — and harder for mold to grow.
Other parts of the home
- A dehumidifier helps to reduce moisture in the home during the warmer months. Close the windows when the dehumidifier is running.
- When family and friends come into the home, have them take off their shoes.
- Vacuum often. If you are buying a vacuum cleaner, try to get one with a HEPA filter.
- Clean hard floors with a damp mop.
- Do not bring in furniture, clothing, books etc. that have been stored in a moldy place into your home.
- Cut down the number of potted plants in the house—soil is a good place for mold.