Effective March 31, 2017, RAPCA will no longer perform indoor air quality inspections or accept referrals from other agencies or programs.
Learning how to control your home's environment can improve comfort and may reduce the risk of health complications. There are many sources of indoor air pollution, including excess moisture or water leaks, ill-operating heating appliances, tobacco products, building materials, pets, household cleaning products, and natural sources.
RAPCA recommends following U.S. EPA guidelines to improve your indoor air quality.
How can I improve my indoor air quality?
- Eliminate excess moisture in your home
Excess moisture in your home can lead to mold problems. Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Be sure to fix water leaks immediately and dry wet items out as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth.
- Do not smoke indoors
Tobacco smoke is one of the most common asthma triggers. Avoid smoking in your home, or better yet, quit smoking altogether.
- Keep appliances in good working order
Poorly operating natural gas and wood burning appliances can emit high levels of carbon monoxide and/or smoke resulting in unhealthy and even deadly conditions inside your home. Be sure to have your appliances inspected on a regular basis to make sure they are operating properly. Also, if you are using a wood burning stove to heat your home, be sure to only burn dry, seasoned wood and maintain a hot fire.
- Clean up after pets and pests
Pets and insects can contribute to asthma. Clean up pet hair and waste, keep garbage and food contained and covered, and wash bed linens frequently.
How do I clean up mold?
Soft materials, like paper, cardboard, clothes, stuffed animals, pillows, mattresses, and soft furniture, must be thrown away. Metal, glass, concrete, and some plastics can usually be cleaned. We recommend using just soap and water instead of bleach. Bleach can cause health problems if it is inhaled.
Should I test my home for mold?
US EPA does not recommend testing for mold. If you can see or smell mold, you already know you have a mold problem. If you test for mold, you will find mold, because mold is always in the air. Mold is a problem inside when water goes where it should not be. There are no regulations to say how much mold in a home is safe, so test results cannot help you know if you have a mold problem. If the water problem is fixed and all moldy items are fixed, mold problems will be fixed, too.
Why is mold growing in my home?
Mold grows when water goes where it should not be. This could be from a pipe leak, a roof leak, or any other water problem in a building. Water issues could be caused by a quick problem, like a toilet overflow, or a problem that has been ignored, like a small toilet leak. Mold is always in the air, but you only have a mold problem when you have a water problem. If you fix the water problem, you can fix the mold problem.
How long does it take mold to grow?
Mold can begin to grow after one or two days of something being wet. If the water problem is fixed and things are dried out within one or two days, you can usually stop mold from growing.
Why does the mold keep growing back, even after it’s been cleaned?
If you’ve cleaned the mold but it grows back, the water problem that caused the mold has not been fixed. You need to find the water problem and fix it or the mold will keep growing.
My landlord refuses to fix my mold problem, what can I do?
Contact Ohio Legal Services, or your legal counsel, for recommendations on how to resolve tenant/landlord disputes. Locally, the Dayton Mediation Center may also be able to assist with resolving an issue.