Are molds affecting your health?
Fact – over 43 million American are living with hay fever symptoms and/or asthma.
Signs of mold allergies can often look like a cold. Do you wake up in the morning with a runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, sneezing or rashes? Or do you have an allergy that never ends when the seasons change? You may be allergic to the spores of molds.
Molds live everywhere and especially here on the Oregon Coast. Molds are tiny microscopic organisms that digest organic matter and reproduce by releasing spores. Molds are a type of fungi and there are over 100,000 species. In nature, mold helps decompose or break-down leaves, wood and other plant debris. Molds become a problem when they go where they are not wanted and digest materials such as our homes
You know you have mold when you smell the “musty” odor or see small black or white specks along your damp bathroom or basement walls. Some mold is hidden growing behind wall coverings or ceiling tiles. Even dry, dead mold can cause health problems.
Mold enters your home in tiny spores and naturally grows indoors. Mold spores are able to come in many ways. They are the air outside can attach themselves to people and animals, making clothing, shoes, bags, and pets convenient vehicles for carrying mold indoors. When mold spores land on places where there is moisture they will grow. Common locations include plumbing that leaks, leaky roofs, showers and bathtubs, refrigerators, carpet, damp closets, clothes dryers, fire wood, plant containers and food.
There is no way to get rid of them but you can control mold growth by keeping your home dry. The key point is mold cannot grow without moisture. If there is already mold growing in your home, it’s important to clean it up and fix the problem or it will come back.
Controlling mold growth in your home:
Dry out the house and fix any moisture problems in your home:
- Stop water leaks, repair leaky roofs and plumbing. Keep water away from concrete slabs and basement walls.
- Open windows and doors to increase air flow in your home, especially along the inside of exterior walls. Use a fan if there are no windows available.
- Make sure that warm air flows into all areas of the home. Move large objects a few inches away from the inside of exterior walls to increase air circulation.
- Install and use exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
- Ventilate and insulate attic and crawl spaces. Use heavy plastic to cover earth floors in crawl spaces.
- Clean and dry water damaged carpets, clothing, bedding, and upholstered furniture within 24 to 48 hours, or consider removing and replacing damaged furnishings.
- Vacuum and clean your home regularly to remove mold spores.
- Check around your windows for signs of condensation and water droplets. Wipe them up right away so mold can’t start to grow.
Cleaning mold should be done carefully so it’s done safely and thoroughly. Mold is dangerous to your health and so are many cleaning products. If there is a large serious mold problem you may need profession help.
If you are going to clean the infected area yourself, here are some tips that should be followed:
- Wear goggles, gloves and a mask.
- Seal off the area from the rest of your home and open windows.
- Remove all your furnishings to a mold free area.
- Bag all moldy materials, take them outdoors and place in garbage right away.
- Clean the area thoroughly using a mild dish washing liquid or laundry detergent and warm water.
- Natural mold removal has a clear advantage to any other mold cleaning means. The benefits that it can bring are far more than just for humans but favor the earth even. Vinegar is one of the effective and natural basic home ingredients that could work well for mold cleaning.
- Sure, there are instances that are calling for the use of chemical based mold removal products. However, they are but extreme cases. Employing a professional is more advisable for larger mold issues. A borate based detergent works very well for mold removal but it has some environmental issues.
Let’s start taking better care of ourselves and the world around us!