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Like people, mold needs food and water to thrive. And there’s plenty of both in your home.

Food for mold can be the dirt and dust that collects inside your home. Water in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room and even from leaky pipes can help mold grow.

If you see mold, clean it up right away so it can’t spread. For people who are allergic to it, mold can cause breathing problems and irritation.

A University of Arizona study of 160 homes across the country found mold in every one of those houses. Most often, the mold appeared in places that people normally overlook, like window sills, refrigerator seals, under the kitchen sink and in air registers.
You can clean up small areas of mold with soap and dishwashing detergent, but cleaning specialists warn against using bleach except on non-porous surfaces like shower doors and tile. Bleach can cause the spores to multiply.

For larger areas:

  • Remove the spores with a HEPA vacuum cleaner.
  • After cleaning mold from a wood cabinet or shelf, spray the surface with KILZ before repainting.
  • Prevent mold from returning by keeping your house as clean as possible, by repairing plumbing leaks right away and by mopping up spills right away.

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