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Archive for Sunday, April 25, 2004

Test your mold knowledge - for your health

April 25, 2004

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Test your mold knowledge -- for your health

When it comes to mold, all kinds of health issues can spring up when it comes to your health. Allergies can surface, and then there's the costly cleanup. Test your knowledge about mold in the home:

Which of these is most important to check regularly to prevent mold in the laundry room?
A. Heating and cooling registers
B. Clothes dryer lint filter
C. Dryer electrical connection
D. Washing machine water hoses

Answer: D.

Water hoses for your washing machine can leak easily. A small trickle can slowly wet wall cavities and floor spaces in the laundry room. This problem may remain hidden from view for some time, creating significant trouble. The space between your walls and floors are ideal environments for mold to grow unnoticed.

What's the most common cause of mold in basements?
A. Leaking water heaters
B. Inadequate foundation drainage
C. High humidity
D. Dirty floors and walls

Answer: B

The water in the ground around a home can exert enough pressure to force water through concrete walls. This typically occurs when there is inadequate drainage around the outside of a house. Even concrete is porous under this amount of pressure. Once moisture makes its way into your home, mold may be seen on damp patches on the walls or floor where it feeds on dirt. If the basement is finished, wood studs and drywall provide an excellent breeding ground.

What common kitchen appliance is effective at reducing the chance of mold?
A. Refrigerator
B. Garbage disposal
C. Stove exhaust fan
D Microwave oven

Answer: C

Cooking often produces steam, or water vapor. With a proper exhaust fan, you can vent the moisture outside. Without an exhaust fan, moisture remains in your kitchen, condensing on windows and other surfaces, increasing your chances of growing mold.

With a leaky window, where is mold most likely to grow?
A. On the glass
B. On the drywall around the window
C. On the ceiling
D. On window blinds

Answer: B

Mold spores need three things to grow: The right temperature, food, and moisture. Make sure you frequently check and maintain the caulking and flashing around your windows to prevent water leaking into the house in the first place.

On outside walls, why does mold sometimes grow behind pictures or furniture?
A. More dirt in these locations
B. Pictures and furniture are food for mold
C. Darkness in these locations
D. Cold spots with little air flow

Answer: D

Because these areas get little warm air circulation, they stay colder than their surroundings. These cold spots encourage moisture in the air to condense, and damp surfaces are more likely to encourage mold growth.

Why are bathroom closets susceptible to mold?
A. Poor air circulation
B. Darkness
C. Towels and linens
D. Small rooms more likely to be moldy

Answer: A

Every time you take a shower, steam finds its way into nearby rooms. A bathroom closet is regularly exposed to dampness. The closet is probably not heated or cooled, so surfaces such as doors, walls and carpeting don't easily dry.

The air in your house is very dry. Is a humidifier a good idea?
A. No, it will create mold
B. It makes no difference
C. Yes, if you monitor the humidity level

Answer: C

Although a humidifier adds moisture to the air, if you monitor the humidity levels (using a humidity meter) you can use one. You should never allow the relative humidity in the area near the humidifier to go above 35 percent.

What is a common cause of mold growth in attics?
A. Inadequate ventilation
B. Too much insulation
C. Too many cardboard boxes
D. Incorrect roofing materials

Answer: A

Good ventilation in the attic is key to preventing mold growth. Your attic temperature probably varies a lot over a typical year. To keep the attic at a more consistent temperature, make sure it has proper insulation and that a good ventilation system helps dry out areas that may become damp.

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