All calls for mold abatement should be made to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in Tyler, 903-595-3585 or check the DSHS Website.
- Check around air handling units (air conditioners or furnaces) for stagnant water. Keep these units serviced with regular cleaning of ducts and air filters. Do not run the A/C fan continuously. This can cause condensation and mold growth.
- Be aware of odors. Mold has been described as pungent or aromatic.
- Have tenants or maintenance personnel report any water leaks/damages. Once reported, take action as soon as possible.
- Keep water out. Fix any leaks within 24 hours. Keep the home dry. Keep all interior moisture levels below 60%. Install dehumidifiers if necessary.
- Have access to drying equipment for emergencies.
- Occasionally check moisture levels using moisture meters and hygrometers.
- Check sprinklers and flowerbeds for possible landscaping issues that may cause water damage.
- Have a plan of action for handling any mold-related problems that may be discovered.
- If a home is a pier and beam, have it inspected for water leaks or drainage issues that can trap water under your home and raise moisture levels.
- Consider eliminating vinyl wall coverings.
- Be on the lookout for discoloration of walls, ceilings, or anything made of wood or paper. Mold growth can be almost any color: white, black, green, or fluorescent.
- Look inside cabinets, under sinks, around tubs and showers, around washer boxes, behind wallpaper, around baseboards, and in closets or other dark, damp places. Mold can germinate on dust, dirt, paper, wood, adhesives, paints, textiles, and leather.
- Educate any maintenance personnel about proper handling of water damages and the necessity of quick response time on water issues to avoid problems. Discuss with them what to look for.
- Consider using paints and building materials that have mold inhibitors.
- Know the symptoms of mold-related illness, which can range from chronic sinus infections and asthma to nosebleeds, extreme fatigue, severe headaches, dizziness, rashes and central nervous system problems. Do the symptoms get better when you go away and worse when you return home?
- Get the home tested if you feel mold is present and are having possible mold-related health problems.