When you notice green
discoloration on the walls or ceiling or the room
smells musty, then you know you have a mold and mildew
problem. High levels of humidity or a water leak can
cause mold and mildew. The extent of damage to the
house is proportionate to the extent and spread of
mold and mildew. This can cause structural damage,
permanent discoloration of paint and health problems
as well. Mold and mildew grow and thrive in areas that
are damp. Mold and mildew is caused by:
Water seeping through the roof, foundation or
through spaces around the windows and doors.
Dampness caused by a leaking pipe.
Water wetting the walls and floor from a
shower or a bathtub.
Increased indoor humidity caused by routine
activities like showering, drying clothes and cooking.
If the problem of mold and mildew is restricted
to a small area like a corner of the ceiling or wall then it
caused by water seepage. It the problem covers a whole wall, a
room or the entire basement then it is probably caused by
increased levels of humidity. Tips to restrict the spread of
mold and mildew:
If the source of the problem is a leak, fix
it or have it fixed at once.
If the leak is in the roof employ a roofing
contractor to fix it.
Hire a plumber to fix a leak in the toilet,
bathtub, shower or water pipe.
If the mold has caused extensive damage to
the structure of the house, hire a person who specializes in
Once all repairs are done dry the area
Check levels of indoor humidity and if it is
higher than 30% to 50% then reduce it.
Cover the soil floor of the crawlspace under
the house, with plastic to stop moisture from the soil adding
to humidity of your house.
If the soil is wet use fans to dry the soil.
Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms
to control humidity.
All vent fans should be connected directly
outdoors and not to the attic.
The vent from your clothes dryer should be
connected directly outdoors.
Check all ducts and replace damaged ones
Clean ducts annually.
Air-conditioning drain lines must be clean
for proper drainage.
Ask a heating and cooling contractor to
inspect both heating and cooling systems to ensure that they
are removing humidity.
Seal air leaks in ducts to prevent increase
in levels of humidity.
Moisture evaporating and increasing levels of humidity inside
the house normally cause dampness in the basement. Another
reason is precipitation on cold concrete walls and floors when
the weather is very humid. Measures to prevent dampness in
After heavy rains if water stands on the
floor of the basement, this is probably because there is a
leak in the foundation.
Ensure that the downspout runoff is directed
away from the foundation.
The ground around the house should slope
downwards away from the foundation.
Make sure that the sump pump is working
In case the basement has a dirt floor it
should be covered with plastic to reduce water vapor from
permeating through the soil.
Use dehumidifier in the basement when it is
extremely humid to reduce precipitation on the walls.
Seal the basement properly so that humid
outdoor air does not enter it.
Follow the above suggestions and they should not
only reduce dampness but also control the spread of mold and