Healthy Homes: Reduce Mold Make an Appointment Ask a Question Find a Doctor Step 1: Learn about mold Molds are part of the natural environment and are similar to mushrooms and yeast but are much smaller. You can only see or smell mold when there is a large quantity. Mold can only grow and become a problem when there is excessive moisture. Some children are sensitive or allergic to mold. For these children, breathing mold spores can make asthma symptoms worse. The key to preventing mold is to control moisture within your home. Step 2: Take action Clean up small areas of mold from hard surfaces using soap and water. Make sure you get plenty of ventilation in the area to get all surfaces dry as quickly as possible. Throw away absorbent materials such as carpet or papers that have become moldy. Ongoing actions to prevent excessive moisture will help prevent future mold issues. These actions include: Venting the clothes dryer to the outside. Opening windows or turning on exhaust fans when showering or cooking. Eliminate the use of humidifiers or vaporizers in enclosed rooms in your home. Quickly clean up any flooding or spills within one day. Identify and repair leaky faucets and pipes. Inspect and clean your rain gutters every fall. Make sure the downspouts extend at least three feet from the foundation of your home. Make sure the ground around the outside of your house slopes away from the building foundation so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.