Boston Housing Authority

For Public Housing > Your Healthy Home > Principles

Principles

Keep Your Home Dry and Well Ventilated

Keeping your home dry and ventilated can help solve mold and pest problems. Too much water in your home or humidity in the air can lead to mold growth or pest problems. Water leaks also damage building materials and cause paint to peel, and can even cause structural damage. It is important to address these problems as quickly as possible to avoid bigger ones.
 

Fresh Air

Fresh air can lower exposure to chemicals and other indoor pollutants. Fans and windows can provide fresh air or remove pollutants (such as smoke and fumes from cooking) and humidity from the air. Use these helpful tips to encourage fresh air.

Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen when cooking. If you have a vent in your bathroom, the cover should be vacuumed or swept out and cleaned at least once a year.

Open your windows when the weather is warm and dry.
 

How to Avoid Moisture Problems 

  • Take care to thoroughly dry any spills as soon as they happen.

  • Keep the thermostat between 55º and 72º if possible.

  • Periodically clean and dry the walls and floors around the sink, bathtub, shower, toilets and windows using a common household cleaner.

  • If you see mold beginning to grow, clean it immediately. Any cleaner will do. Wipe down the floor and walls after a shower to allow the bathroom to dry quickly.

  • Open the bathroom door after a shower or bath to let steam disappear or evaporate.

  • Do not let damp or moist stacks of clothes or paper materials lay around in piles for a long time.

  • Use a nylon shower curtain and wash it often. 

If persistent mold becomes a problem in your unit, your development manager and maintenance supervisor will work with you to solve the problem.
 

When to Report Problems

It is important to inform management of any floods or water leaks in your apartment as soon as you notice the issue. The following issues should be reported to the Boston Housing Authority Work Order Center at (617) 988-4357 immediately.

  • A water leak or too much moisture in your apartment or common areas.

  • Mildew that cannot be removed with a common household cleaner and wiping the area. Report any area of mold or mildew that comes back even after regular cleaning.

  • Broken windows or doors.

  • Musty odors in your apartment.

  • Problems with your heating or ventilation system.