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What are the facts on mold?

Here are some things to consider on this topic of growing importance. There is no such thing as a mold-free home; and doorways, windows, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems serve as the main points of entrance. Though mold is not hazardous to healthy people, it can make asthma, hay fever, and allergies worse or cause infections in people with compromised immune systems. Mold thrives in moist areas and can ruin paint, wallpaper, drywall, and wood surfaces. To keep the substance in check, the American Society of Home Inspectors urges homeowners to quickly fix plumbing or roof leaks; immediately wash and completely dry mold-infested areas; replace ceiling tiles, carpeting, and other absorbent materials that have been contaminated; clean and dry air conditioner, refrigerator, and dehumidifier drip pans often; and use exhaust fans or open windows when showering and cooking. They also are advised to keep indoor humidity levels at 30 percent to 50 percent relative humidity; use bathroom cleaning products that kill mold; add mold inhibitors to paint; and avoid carpeting bathrooms.

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