Keep It Dry

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Keeping your home dry is one of the eight principles of a healthy home, defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). One of the issues that we get calls about at the Extension Office is mold. Individuals who have a mold problem actually have a moisture problem. So the first principle to a healthy home is to keep it dry by preventing water from entering the home because mold grows on wet or damp surfaces. Many people are concerned when they start to see mold growing. However, mold produces spores that you cannot see and that float through the air. They can get into your lungs and cause breathing and other health problems.

You can clean up mold with a mix of laundry detergent or dishwashing soap and water. Protect yourself when cleaning up mold. Wear long sleeves and pants, shoes and socks, rubber gloves, goggles to protect your eyes, and a N-95 respirator. Open a window to let in fresh air while you’re working. If you find an area of mold greater than 15 square feet, it’s best to hire a professional to remove it.

Principles of a HEALTHY HOME 1. Keep it dry 2. Keep it clean 3. Keep it safe 4. Keep it well-ventilated 5. Keep it pest-free 6. Keep it contaminate-free 7. Keep it well maintained 8. Keep it thermally controlled

Other common problems are pest issues. Pests want food, water and shelter so make sure they can’t get in either. And you can also prevent pests by keeping your house clean of food,

as well as dust and other contaminants that could aggravate breathing issues. Homeowners with young children should pay extra attention to keeping their home safe, storing chemicals out of reach along with other harmful objects. And throughout it

all, we recommend that you keep your home maintained. This means inspecting it and make repairs routinely before the minor issues become larger, more expensive ones. For more information on similar topics, check out the US Department of Housing & Urban Development “Making Homes Healthier for Families” page.