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Allergies to Mold is a growing problem

Do your eyes water and do you sniff and sneeze more in certain locations in your house or when you visit friends or businesses? Do you seem to suffer more inside your home or office than outside? Do damp basements and bathrooms make you miserable? You may be among a growing list of people allergic to mold. Mold is everywhere around us, but our homes should be a sanctuary to escape the misery.

Mold spores are tiny (5-10 microns) they can easily evade the natural protective mechanisms of our nose and upper respiratory tract. Allergic reactions are the most common effect: runny nose, itching eyes and rashes. The other common effects of exposure to molds include wheezing, flu-like symptoms, chronic sinus infections, fever, nose bleeds, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and respiratory infections. Mold spores can trigger or aggravate asthma, particularly, in children. The effects of molds are cumulative, the first 200 exposures may have no effect but the next one can cause a reaction.

“Toxic Black Mold” is the most feared all molds. Finding this mold in you home, work place or school can mean the building must be closed for serious professional mold abatement. Insurance companies normally do not cover mold damage.  Normal household mold is easier to control and eradicate using very easy to find products. Remember, the cause of mold is moisture.

How to get rid of mold:

Before doing any of the things on the list below, it is important to wear a particulate respirator (N95 or TC-21C) and rubber gloves.

1. If you suspect black toxic mold contact a professional mold abatement company to test your home. Check that all roofing, gutters, drainpipes and siding are repaired and working correctly. Check under sinks to see if there are leaks or plumbing problems that need fixing. Check your basement for leaks and the floor for water pressure seepage. If you entirely eliminate the source of dampness, your mold problems will end after clean-up. Use a dehumidifier in damp areas of your home or office.

2. If the mold you have is not toxic, start with a fungicide cleaner to remove the mold, you must also kill the root to prevent it from coming back. Bleach will only temporarily remove the surface mold, also bleach can be dangerous. Follow the directions on the fungicide and always use a respirator and gloves. I prefer to use non-toxic methods when possible. Vinegar and tea tree oil makes a great deterrent for light mold, but it will not completely remove heavy deposits of deeply rooted mold.

3 Use an air purifier in your home or near your desk if you work in an office that has mold problems. Replace the air filters on your furnace and air-conditioner as needed. Use vinegar and tea tree oil on a regular basis as a spray in your shower and sinks to prevent new growth. Mix 2 teaspoons tea tree oil, 2 cups water in a spray bottle, do not rinse. Vinegar can also be sprayed on undiluted. Turn on the ventilation fan or open a window, the smell will dissipate in a few minutes after using.

To those of you suffering from the recent flooding, I sympathize with you. It is very had to get away form mold spores when your whole world is damp and moldy.

One Response

  1. I am one of the great many people who have been flooded out this year. Please tell everyone to get professional help for flood clean-up. This stuff is nasty. We tried the clean-up ourselves, because we do not have insurance that covers mold. No one in our family had ever been allergic to mold before. Now we all have terrible allergies to mold. Our house had to be stripped down to the studs and even they had to be treated for mold. Everywhere we go it’s with us. We will have to move to the desert to get away.


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