Do you sneeze regularly or have a constantly runny nose? Exposure to mold may be causing these problems.
Mold can make you sick, especially if you have asthma or allergies. Even people who aren’t allergic to mold may suffer irritation in the eyes, nose, lungs, skin and throat.
Sadly, most people with respiratory issues don’t realize that mold exposure may be triggering the problem. Even worse, physicians sometimes misdiagnose the cause.
For this reason, you need to reduce your exposure to mold, whether you’re allergic to it or not.
Mold is a type of fungus that thrives on moisture. It can grow in any moist area in your house, including appliances, kitchens, walls, furniture, basements, bathrooms and carpets. You may also be exposed to outdoor mold, especially during late summer and early fall.
Let’s look into how you can reduce your exposure to mold.
Mold plays a vital role in nature. It helps break down dead leaves, trees and other organic matter. This means damp leaves contain a lot of molds.
Always wear a dust mask when mowing your lawn or digging up plants in your garden, especially if you live in a region with high humidity. Alternatively, hire someone to mow your lawn.
Installing exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom can reduce the moisture in your house. If you don’t have a fan, keep the windows open during the day.
You may also want to use a dehumidifier to dry out damp areas, such as the basement. Remember to empty and clean the dehumidifier, since mold can thrive in the water left in it.
Simply drying damp areas is not enough; you have to fix the cause of the dampness. Fix any leaks or spills in your house as soon as possible. Mold may grow if you don’t fix the leaks within 48 hours.
Once you fix the leaks, clean the mold-covered surfaces with water and bleach or a bleach alternative.
You probably know that over-watering can kill your plants. But did you know it can cause mold in the soil? If you notice any mold in the soil, repot your houseplant as soon as possible.
Note that your plants may not need watering, even if the top layer is dry. Poke your finger into the soil to see if the deeper layer is moist.
These appliances add moisture to your house, which encourages mold growth. If you have to use them, follow the manufacturer’s instructions diligently and clean them regularly. Care2′s Lauren Bowen wrote a great tutorial on how to deep-clean your humidifier.
Using rugs in humid basements and bathrooms can create the perfect environment for mold to thrive. Even a carpet that has been wet for a short period can develop mold, and just because mold isn’t visible doesn’t mean it isn’t growing.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of mold poisoning are similar to other respiratory disorders. If you suspect you may have mold poisoning, get the mold levels in your home checked.