Mold exposure affects everyone differently. Some people are completely immune to mold, but it can make others—even people in the same household—very sick. Prolonged exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and many other serious health problems. For people with allergies and asthma, mold exposure is especially dangerous. Not only is mold an air pollutant, it directly affects the respiratory system. Mold spores can trigger allergic reactions and make asthma symptoms worse. Here are some mold prevention tips to minimize your exposure to mold so you can protect your health.
How Mold Affects People with Allergies and Asthma
Just like pollen, dander, and dust, mold is an airborne allergen. If you live in a mold-infested environment, that means you’re breathing mold spores all the time. And if you have allergies it will make your symptoms worse.
However, mold often grows unseen behind walls or inside HVAC ducts. And because the symptoms of mold allergies are so similar to other allergy symptoms, many people don’t realize the effect that indoor mold has on their health.
If you have asthma, mold exposure can make you have more frequent, more severe asthma attacks. Reducing exposure to asthma triggers could significantly reduce your symptoms. And if you have asthma, getting a mold inspection could help you identify and eliminate one of the biggest irritants.
How to Minimize Your Exposure to Mold
Mold exposure causes a reaction that makes your airways constrict, which leads to chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. Reducing your chances of exposure to mold is one of the best ways to manage your symptoms.
To avoid exposure, people with mold allergies or asthma should:
- Avoid wooded areas and yard work tasks like raking damp leaves.
- Limit time spent outdoors on windy, rainy, or very humid days.
- Avoid overwatering your houseplants, to prevent moldy soil.
- Remove any mold-infested items from the house.
- Clean moldy surfaces using a hydrogen peroxide or vinegar solution.
Indoor Mold Prevention Tips
It doesn’t take much for mold to start growing indoors—all it needs is a little organic matter to feed on and enough moisture to grow. It can eat everything from the paper backing on drywall to the dust on fiberglass insulation.
To prevent mold from growing in your home:
- Keep humidity levels below 50% with a dehumidifier or smart home settings.
- Use air purifiers with HEPA filters or buy air-purifying houseplants to remove mold spores from the air.
- Ventilate damp or steamy areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, or basement by opening windows and running fans.
- Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance on your HVAC system to eliminate mold and improve indoor air quality.
- Dispose of mold-contaminated items carefully—if some leftovers get moldy in the fridge, don’t leave them sitting in the trash. Seal the bag and take it outside to the bin.
How to Get Rid of Mold Safely
For people with allergies and asthma, the safest way to deal with mold is to get someone else to remove it for you. The EPA recommends seeking professional mold remediation if the affected area is larger than 10 square feet, but if necessary, you can clean small amounts of mold yourself.
If you ever find mold in the rubber lining of your refrigerator door, for example, it’s okay to deal with it on your own. Taking a few safety precautions before you attack it will help reduce your exposure.
Here’s how to clean mold safely:
- Open the windows or turn on a fan to improve ventilation.
- Prepare your cleaning solution.
- Wear protective gear like an N-95 face mask, goggles, and rubber gloves.
- Do not wipe or scrub the mold, because this will release its spores.
- Spray the affected surface and allow it to air dry completely.
Professional Mold Removal in Santa Clara
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you need mold remediation that’s fast and effective, so you can start breathing easier. My Pure Environment uses a powerful dry fog agent that works quickly and is safe for people with allergies or asthma. It kills mold on contact and keeps it from growing back—in fact, our mold remediation services are backed with a 1-year mold-free guarantee.
The best way to relieve your allergy and asthma symptoms is to get rid of airborne irritants like mold. Call us at 408-549-8926 to request a free mold inspection today.