Mold in the home has become a serious and sometimes even fatal problem in the USA, Australia and elsewhere. Unfortunately, once you have mold in a building, it will always be there unless you completely start from scratch. It is imperative that you reduce the amount of mold or mildew in the air that you are breathing.
Do you have a musty smell in your home?
If so, then it is more than likely that you have mold but if you see mold, then the problem becomes more acute. Most of the toxic mold that we may be breathing in is actually invisible and floating in the air. We all need lots of fresh air and we are not going to get that if we are holed up inside a musty home 90% of the time with no fresh air circulating.
Mold becomes a big problem when the spores start multiplying
Those who are especially sensitive to mold start breathing it in. The result can be respiratory problems, common allergic reaction symptoms, nervous-system disorders and depression.
How crowded or cluttered is your home?
If your home is warm and humid with too much stuff piled up and infrequently moved, this provides the perfect breeding ground. Mold will find any organic matter to invade, infesting our living space through walls, windows, doors, carpets and of course under the refrigerator but can also be walked or carried indoors.
Most of us are unaware of our exposure to the "harmful to our health" effects of mold in the home.
How to protect yourself from mold?
- Check for any leaks and fix them either yourself or with the help of a professional.
- Homes with a humidity level of 70% are especially vulnerable. You may need to invest in a high quality dehumidifier. A good quality air purification system with an HEPA filter and UV & negative ion technologies may be the answer for you.
- Homes that are too warm with poorly lit, stuffy rooms are at high risk. Clear out all excess contents, open all the windows and let the sunlight stream in.
- In your bathroom, open the window when you shower and keep it open as much as possible. Do the same when using a clothes drier and make sure it has an anti-humidity vent.
- If you have heating and/or air conditioning, change the air filters regularly. Homes should not be over heated with a maximum temperature of 69 degrees F and a humidity level of around 54% or below.
- Check all your storage areas and closets for any mold growth. If you find any, you need to protect yourself by wearing a mask, eye protection and gloves that will filter the mold. This may sound extreme but people have died from clearing up a basement full of mold. Remember that mold on any porous surfaces cannot be cleaned but must be completely removed and dumped. This includes carpeting, drywall, wall-paper and other. Wash any clothes that have mold. When cleaning hard surfaces, dampen the mold with a wet cloth to lessen the likelihood of airborne spores. A non toxic organic soap is best for the environment or you can use essential oils but the main essential oils which are known to help destroy and control mold and the spores that result are: cinnamon leaf and bark; thyme; oregano; several species of eucalyptus; basil; rosemary; and clove bud. Various products (blends) are available online ready for you to use and these include “Three Thieves”, Four Robbers” and “Pure Cleansing”. They are very safe to use with guidance and they smell good too.
- If you have mold on the structural support of your home, it may have to be sanded.
Remember too that
The best prevention for mold is to keep every thing dry; to ventilate your home by opening windows daily; and to use a good air purification system.
Essential oils can be a great way of controlling mold.
The use of cedar wood when building a home in wet or damp locations can be helpful in preventing certain types of mold.