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Say goodbye to household mold

Here's what you can do to protect yourself from mold this winter

Mold in your home can be dangerous to your health. It is destructive to your home and belongings. Particularly in the winter months, mold grows on damp surfaces in your home. Mold spores are always present in the air and the right conditions allow them to grow. Mold growth can be black, brown or white and looks like a furry stain. Here's what you can do:

•Keep it clean - Keep walls, floors, clothing and possessions clean and dry. Wash all indoor surfaces with soap and water, then dry. Wash all clothes before putting away. Leave dirty shoes and boots outside. Clean floors and carpets regularly.

•Dry it up - Run fans or open windows whenever cooking or bathing. Don't leave wet clothes, towels or shoes lying around. Dry condensation on windows and walls. Bring only dry firewood inside. Use a dehumidifier or chemicals to absorb moisture in enclosed spaces. Have all leaks in pipes, roofs, walls and windows repaired. Keep standing water away from the home.

•Air it out - Keep air moving in all areas of your home. Leave closet doors open. Open windows and doors on dry days. Use fans to circulate air in enclosed spaces and corners. Keep furniture and stored items away from walls.

- For more information, see www.oregonstate.extension.edu/

washington/.