Molds are types of fungi that live on plants, foods, dry leaves, wood and other organic materials. Mold spores are the reproductive parts of the microorganism – you can see a group of mold spores with the naked eye.
Mold is present virtually everywhere. When present in large amounts, mold can have effects on your health by causing allergic reactions, triggering asthma episodes and other respiratory problems.
Mold needs water to survive and grow. When you find mold in your home, you should identify the source of the moisture. You may have to improve ventilation, use a dehumidifier or repair a leak.
You should also remove the existing mold. Discard mold-contaminated materials that cannot be dried out and cleaned. Hard, non-porous materials may be cleaned with a bleach and water solution. Always wear gloves and ventilate the area well when using bleach. Wear gloves and a respirator with a HEPA filter when cleaning or handling moldy materials.
- If you believe mold in your home may be triggering your asthma, our Putting on AIRS Program may be able to help.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Mold After a Disaster
- FACT SHEET: Mold in the Home: Health Concern
- FACT SHEET: Get the Mold Out