Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Minimize Mold Exposure in Your Home

From personal experience, I believe many people do not often understand the potential health effects of mold. Not only can mold cause allergic reactions in many individuals, but also the mytoxins produced by mold can cause immune system dysfunction and serious neurological problems.

There have been many recent cases of sick buildings with "black mold" as well as other types of mold that thrive on wet drywall and other materials. Severe mold contamination may require a mold remediation company to clean up the property and remove mold. In some cases, the property may be uninhabitable.

On a daily basis, however, there are some basic steps to avoid mold in your home:

1. Immediately address any leaks, no matter how small, in your roof, bathrooms, kitchens, or any other part of the home. Replace any drywall or wood that shows signs of mold.

2. If you have a central ventilation system, have the vents cleaned periodically (I have them cleaned about every 3 years) to remove any mold-spores as well as dust and particulate build-up.

3. In humid climates, use a dehumidifier, especially in basements.

4. Use vents in bathrooms or other areas where there is regular moisture.

5. Use bathroom squeegees after each shower to remove excess water from the shower stall to prevent mildew.

6. Make sure water drains away from the house at least several feet during rainstorms. A properly installed gutter system will help prevent standing water from accumulating around the foundation.

7. Opt for smooth floor surfaces, such as tile, rather than carpeting that can accumulate mold spores.

8. Use HEPA air filters in your home.

Some useful links:

American Environmental Health Foundation article

Common Molds in Home, Office, or School article by American Environmental Health Foundation

EPA links on Mold

3 comments:

Jim said...

Little but Interesting One!
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Blushing Bliss said...

There are also eco-friendly paints that you can buy that prevent the growth of mold and mildew. I used ECO Trend Natural Interior Paint to paint my bathroom since it is the place with the most moisture. Just something else to check out.

deirdre g said...

This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing the list on some basic steps to avoid mold in a home.

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