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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - After mold is found inside a University of Louisville dorm, WDRB digs deeper to see what homeowners should look for, and just how easy it is to inspect your own home.
Mold can make some people sick--it is why 270 students are being moved out of Miller Hall, and it's why you should check for it in your own home.
Dr. Shirish Phulgaonkar is a chemical engineer who does testing and remediation for Allergen Control. He let us join him during an inspection, and shares what homeowners should look for.
Outside, look for moisture problems with the three G's. "Gutter, grading, and groundwater," Phulgaonkar explained, "and those are the sources of moisture in the house."
On the inside, Doctor Phulgaonkar checks for moisture and mold, a visual inspection you can do at home with a flashlight. If you find small amounts of mold, Phulgaonkar has a remedy: "I would take soap and water and clean small area to see if it reappears. If it's not coming back that means you have moisture under control. If it is starting to come back that means moisture is still feeding the fungus and the mold."
A tool called a hygrometer can tell you if the humidity in your basement goes above 60%. To control small mold problems; fix leaks, seal porous concrete, and use a dehumidifier.
To save money, most homeowners keep their vents closed in the basement. Phulgaonkar suggests keeping them open to keep air circulating.
If you are not sure if something is leaking--there is another simple test that takes about a week. "You can take a piece of saran wrap, and put tape around, masking tape, and just leave it there. And if moisture is there on the other side of the saran wrap, that means that means there is moisture," Phulgaonkar explained.
As a rule of thumb--if you see more than 9 square feet of mold, call in the experts. If it is less, Doctor Phulgaonkar says you can probably handle cleaning it yourself.