New York City Housing Authority

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Mold and Mildew Prevention & Treatment

Mold is most likely to grow where there is water or dampness, such as in bathrooms or other places where there are damp surfaces and objects. Most types of mold that are routinely encountered are not hazardous to healthy individuals. However, too much exposure to mold may cause or worsen conditions such as asthma, hay fever, or other allergies. The most common symptoms of overexposure to mold are: coughing, congestion, runny nose, eye irritation, and aggravation of asthma.

Preventing Mold
All molds need moisture to grow, and are most often confined to areas near water sources. Removing the source of moisture — by repairs and by providing sufficient ventilation — is critical to preventing mold growth.

  • The Fresh Air Cure: Letting fresh air into your apartment will help to lower the moisture, and at the same time this will help reduce dust mites and cockroaches.
  • Keep your apartment well-ventilated by opening windows, using fans, and arranging furniture so that windows are not blocked.

Other Tips:

  • Use your stove only for cooking, never for heating. When cooking, keep pots covered and windows open; even keeping windows slightly open will help.
  • Keep your drapes open during the day.
  • Request repair of leaky plumbing, or other water leaks as soon as possible.
  • Keep the “drip pans” in your air conditioners, refrigerators and dehumidifiers clean and dry.
  • Keep your bathroom window open even a little, when weather permits, especially when you are showering.
  • If you have an exhaust fan in your bathroom, make sure it is working. To test whether your exhaust fan is working, do the following: Cover the entire opening with a piece of paper. If the paper sticks to the exhaust fan, then it is working. If the paper falls when you let go of it, your exhaust fan is not working. Please request a repair by calling the Customer Contact Center at (718) 707-7771.
  • Hang wet clothes to dry in open areas, such as on bathroom shower rods, or on drying racks; thoroughly wring out clothes and wash cloths prior to hanging.
  • Dry slow-drying heavy items in a commercial dryer.

Cleaning Mold
Once you have detected mold, act quickly! Mold should be cleaned as soon as it appears. Persons cleaning mold should be free of allergies or symptoms such as nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, or upper respiratory infections.

  1. Wear gloves and protective eye goggles and clean only small areas at a time using a detergent/ soapy solution, or an appropriate household cleaner, preferably one that is labeled “antimicrobial.”
  2. The cleaned area should then be thoroughly dried, and any sponges or rags used to clean mold should be disposed of.
  3. Absorbent materials that contain mold, such as linen or carpets, may need to be replaced.

If The Problem Persists
Mold can pose a health hazard for you and your family so it is important to eliminate the problem as soon as possible. If mold growth continues to persist in your NYCHA apartment, please report the problem to NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center at (718) 707-7771.