What Does It Mean To Have A Mold Allergy?
Mold and fungi grow both inside and outside of the home. Some molds are more active on dry windy days, while others are more active after rain and thunderstorms. Indoor mold can be a problem at any time of the year if the conditions are right.
What Is Black Mold?
“Black mold” is a term used to describe molds that look black. It is also often called “toxic mold”. Both terms imply that these specific molds are dangerous to humans. However, any mold, whether it is black or not, can cause a person to feel unwell if the person is allergic to that specific mold, or if an area of the home or workplace has heavy mold growth.
How do I know If I Have A Mold Problem In My Home?
Generally, it is not necessary to have mold concentrations professionally measured. If you can see mold or smell it (the musty odor), you have a mold problem and it should be corrected.
Outdoor Mold Avoidance:
- Mold can be airborne outside and difficult to avoid. However, checking the mold and pollen counts can be helpful – if the mold count is high, stay indoors with the windows closed and the air conditioner on.
- Avoid playing in piles of raked leaves or hay as these are places that mold likes to grow.
- Avoid hay bales and cutting the grass.
Indoor Mold Avoidance:
- Clean areas that collect water and mildew (refrigerator shelves, bathtub, bathroom tiles) with a diluted bleach solution (one-part bleach mixed with 9 parts water) weekly to keep mold and mildew from growing.
- Use air conditioning and dehumidifiers to keep the humidity levels below 50%. Make sure to regularly clean the air conditioning filter and the dehumidifier.
- Keep firewood outside until it is ready to use.
- Use a ventilation fan or open a window in the bathroom.
- Water-damaged ceilings, walls, or floors may need to be replaced to eliminate mold from inside. Consultation with a professional should be done to ensure the proper eradication of mold.
- Keep houseplants to a minimum.
- Avoid live Christmas trees.
For more information on mold allergy and avoidance please visit the Allergy and Asthma Foundation: http://www.aafa.org/.
For more detailed information visit: http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html