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Expert Alert

Excess moisture in homes can open the door to mold problems, U of M expert cautions

March 30, 2011

The "big thaw" has begun in Minnesota, bringing with it a surplus of moisture. What does this mean for our homes and how can we take action to avoid mold problems?

A University of Minnesota expert who can discuss mold prevention in homes is:

Richard Stone, U of M Extension educator in housing technology

"Mold in homes is generally the result of a moisture issue that did not receive needed attention," Stone says. "Managing moisture proactively and promptly can result in improved indoor environmental quality and protect your home and its contents from moisture related damage."

Stone says that if your home had ice dam problems this winter, especially if they caused leaking into the home, there may still be moisture trapped in walls or other building assemblies. If these spaces do not have sufficient drying capacity, there may be a risk of mold starting in the damp enclosed areas.

Stone also recommends checking basement spaces for cardboard boxes or other items that are easily damaged by moisture, that have been placed in contact with concrete floors or walls that may be damp.

"Spring is also a good time to check all around the house, from the roof to the ground, for possible water leakage areas or winter damage requiring maintenance or repair," Stone says.

To interview Stone, contact Preston Smith at (612) 625-0552 or smith@umn.edu.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit umn.edu/news. Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: Extension

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