January 27, 2006  
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Protect Your Home Against Mold!

Water, in one form or another, is constantly flowing into, under, onto and through our homes. Plumbing pipes wind through the house, hidden behind walls. Groundwater moves under or around the foundation walls.

Excess bathroom humidity gets vented in one direction. Tubs, sinks and toilets drain in another.

The house sheds rainwater and snow off the roof, through downspouts and gutters. The structure itself absorbs and releases moisture vapor and condensation across the seasons. The heating, cooling and ventilating system controls indoor humidity for optimal comfort, year in and year out.

In a well-built and maintained house, water and moisture add comfort and contribute to our well-being. But, if water, in any of its forms, isn't properly managed, it can lead to the growth of mold and cause other expensive damage to the home.

"A homeowner's best defense against moisture damage and mold problems in the home is a good offense," says Richard Roll, president of the American Homeowners Association. "Watchfulness and regular maintenance are a homeowner's keys to preventing moisture damage and protecting the value of their home."

AHA has created a series of handy checklists that enable homeowners to go through the house room-by-room and check for the tell-tale signs of undesirable moisture intrusion.

If any of the warning signs are visible, it's important to take steps to have the source of the problem eliminated immediately. Some jobs are easy and can be done by owners. Others may require additional help by a professional to assess or repair.

Either way - don't procrastinate! Have moisture problems repaired immediately, say Roll. "The longer you wait the more expensive and possibly even damaging the results will be."

For more information on any aspect of buying and owning a home go to www.ahahome.com, the website of the American Homeowners Association (AHA)®.

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