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Mold Prevention Tips

Mold prevention is key if your home is to be a safe haven. Here are some suggestions, based in part on the book The Homeowner’s Guide to Mold by Michael Pugliese.

Laundry Room

  • Ventilate your dryer directly outside.
  • Check monthly for water leaks behind washing machine.
  • Be sure there is adequate space behind the washing machine so hoses do not kink.

Water Heaters

  • Consider installing a water alarm next to the water heater to alert you to any leaks.
  • Check water heater monthly.
  • Drain the water heater according to appliance directions.

Heating and Air Conditioning

  • Use filters that are MERV 6 or better and replace them regularly.
  • Keep air vents and baseboard fans free of debris.
  • Check air conditioning drip pans regularly.
  • Check furnace once a month for leaks.
  • Be sure window air conditioning units are slightly tilted toward the exterior to avoid undesireable moisture.
  • Purchase a humidity guage and maintain a humidity level of 50% or below.


  • Check the cabinet underneath the sink frequently for evidence of water leaks.
  • Keep refrigerator clear of undesired condensation and spills.
  • Clean behind and under refrigerator periodically to keep the area free of dust (a food source for mold).
  • Check dishwashers frequently for leaks.

Closets and Storage Areas

  • Minimize clutter! Clutter encourages dust, which is food for mold and mites and makes it difficult to check for mold.
  • Use plastic tubs and containers rather than corrugated cardboard boxes for storage.
  • Do not stockpile newspapers, paper bags, or magazines as they are potential mold sources.
  • Do not crowd closet walls. Ventilation is critical, even in closets!
  • If your closet is on an outside wall and is poorly insulated, do your best to keep the air temperature in the closet the same as the rest of the home. Leave closet doors open.


  • Use ventilation fans. Keep them free of dust and in proper working order. Run them until steam from each shower or bath has dissipated.
  • Change towels frequently. Towels can harbor mold and mildew.
  • Replace carpeting in bathrooms with tile or other appropriate flooring.
  • Keep bathroom doors open when not in use to allow for more ventilation.
  • Spray mold-prone areas with hydrogen peroxide after each shower.
  • Keep shower curtains and shower curtain liners clean.
  • Consider installing splash guards to avoid runoff from showers or baths. AFM Safecoat offers a toxic-free caulk that's a great option when installing.
  • Keep drains and all plumbing in working order to prevent overflows.
  • Wipe up spills immediately.
  • Check all baseboards, ceilings, and walls frequently looking for soft spots, stains, or other signs of water damage.


"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

This site is dedicated to a true friend and mother — Barbara Dell Kessel (1929-2009)