Keep it Dry

How a Home with Too Much Moisture can Affect Your Health

Too much moisture or wetness in your home can lead to mold. Mold may make breathing problems worse, especially for people with asthma, allergies to mold, and respiratory illnesses such as lung infections.

How to Know if You Have a Problem

You might have a moisture problem in your home if you have:
  • Leaking or dripping pipes, water droplets (condensation) on cold windows
  • Water stains or damage; warping or rotting wood; or peeling, blistering, or cracking paint
  • Clogged gutters, plugged downspouts, or cracks in the foundation
  • Mold that you see (often as speckled patches, in any color) or smell (musty or earthy), especially in:
    • Bathrooms (under sinks, around pipes, and on walls, ceilings, or shower curtains) and kitchens (under sinks, around pipes, under a refrigerator, and in cabinets)
    • Damp basements, closets, and laundry areas
    • Areas where there have been leaks or water damage

How to Fix the Problem

  • Find the sources of moisture, such as leaks inside and outside of the home, and repair them.
  • Clean up water or other spills right away.
  • Use exhaust fans or open windows in the bathroom after showering or bathing and in the kitchen when cooking.
  • Clean downspouts and gutters, and make sure that water drains away from the home.
  • If you see or smell mold, it should be cleaned up promptly.
    • It is usually not necessary to test to learn whether you have mold or to learn the type of mold.
    • Consider hiring a trained professional if the moldy area is large, if the damage was caused by contaminated water, if the mold is hidden in walls or ceilings, or if you have asthma, severe allergies to mold, or a weak immune system.
    • Clean up small moldy areas by scrubbing away mold on hard surfaces with soap and water (bleach is not necessary).
  • Throw out soaked materials, such as carpets, that have been wet from more than 24 to 48 hours.

For more information:

CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection - Integrated Pest Management
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection - Pesticide Management Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home