An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.


Text Version of the Mold House Tour

Illustrated cross section of a house

Get a quick glimpse of some of the most important ways to protect your home from mold by touring the Mold House. Room-by-room, you'll learn about the key problem areas and how to address them.

Take the interactive house tour or view the Text Version below.

On this page:

Living Room

Livingroom Wall growing mold

Living Room Wall

Hidden leaks can cause condensation or wet spots on walls and can also lead to mold growth in many places, such as behind walls. A professional can help you find the cause of a hidden leak and fix the problem.

Livingroom Window growing mold

Living Room Window

Condensation on windows can be a sign of high indoor humidity, which has many possible causes and should be investigated.

Top of Page


Shower growing mold


Excessive moisture can cause mold to grow in the bathroom. Run the bathroom exhaust fan or open the window when showering.

Top of Page


Inside roof showing signs of leaks


Don't ignore wet spots or water stains. Consult with a professional to fix leaks or water damage quickly, or the problem will get worse.

Bedroom Corner growing mold

Bedroom Corner

Water from a roof leak has seeped into a wall, causing the paint to buckle and peel. Do not paint over wet or moldy walls. First, fix the water problem, and then paint.

Bedroom Closet growing mold

Bedroom Closet

High room humidity can cause mold to grow on many items indoors, including furnishings or clothing. To help prevent mold growth, try to keep the indoor humidity below 60%, ideally between 30 and 50%. If it isn't humid outside, open windows or doors to allow fresh air in.

Top of Page


Kitchen Wall growing mold

Kitchen Wall

Cooking and washing dishes can increase humidity. Use a stove's exhaust hood to draw heat, moisture and other contaminants out of the kitchen. Exhaust hoods should be vented to the outdoors.

Mold growing inside a kitchen cabinet

Kitchen Cabinets

Leaking pipes under the kitchen sink can lead to mold growth in areas such as walls or cabinets. Leaking pipes should be fixed by a plumber or other qualified professional.

Top of Page


Dehumidifier being used to keep moisture levels low in a basement


If a room such as a basement is too humid, use a dehumidifier to help prevent mold growth. Be sure to clean the dehumidifier regularly and follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

Top of Page

Laundry Room

Mold growing on a laundry room ceiling

Dryer Venting

Improperly vented clothes dryers will increase the humidity in the room and may lead to mold growth. Clothes dryers must be vented to the outdoors.

Top of Page

Front Door

Drawing of the Mold House front door

Mold Prevention and Cleanup

  • Keep the building and furnishings dry.
  • When things get wet, dry them quickly (24 – 48 hours).
  • Perform routine maintenance, cleaning and repairs.
  • To clean up mold properly, visit A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home.

Top of Page

Drain Pipe/Yard

Photo of a poorly installed drain pipe

Drain Pipe

Drain gutters are great for getting water away from the foundation of a house. Make sure drain gutters are long enough to drain rain water at least 5 feet away from the foundation.

Photo of foundation regrading to move water awar from the house


Water pooling around the foundation of a house can lead to indoor moisture problems. The ground near a house should be sloped downward away from the house to drain water away from the foundation.

Top of Page