6 Ways to Prevent the Flare-Up of a Mold Allergy
A mold allergy does not have to create problems if you take relevant steps to protect your airways from possible exposure. Check with your doctor if you feel you have a mold allergy, and follow your doctor's instructions to reduce or prevent allergy symptoms.
Clean Your Dwelling
Keep your place clean by scrubbing sinks at least once per month, cleaning garbage cans regularly, and removing any moisture from refrigerator drip pans and refrigerator door gaskets. Liquid may leak from garbage bags and sit in the bottom of your garbage can where mold accumulates. Corners of sinks and even crevices near the drain may collect enough moisture for mold growth. If you do see mold on a surface, clean it with a household cleaning solution that contains bleach. Wear goggles and rubber gloves when handling bleach, even when you dilute it.
Mold needs moisture to grow, so reducing or eliminating excess water from your home helps prevent mold from festering in unseen places. Look for leaks from your roof or plumbing periodically. Check for excess moisture on windowsills, inside showers, around bathtubs, near doors and inside closets. Look for signs of dampness in your basement, if you have one. Slope the ground away from your house to ensure water runoff moves away from your basement or crawl space. Check ceilings for any dark spots that may indicate water leaks. If you find any leaks, repair them immediately, and clean up wet spills within 48 hours to prevent mold from growing.
Get Rid of Carpet and Clutter
Mold grows on all sorts of household items, such as carpet, wood, paper products, foam rubber, wall board and indoor plants. Get rid of clutter in your home, such as old newspapers, musty books, old bedding and unused clothing. Rip up carpets in bathrooms, basements and your bedroom. You sleep several hours in your bedroom, so any old carpeting can create mold problems.
Organize Your Property
Maintain your property by cleaning up dried leaves on the ground, mowing the yard and digging up any wayward plants. Clean your gutters to remove excess leaves and plant material. When you clean up the yard, wear a filtration mask with a rating of least N95 from the National Institute of Safety and Health. Keep the mask on for at least two hours outdoors after yard work to give mold spores time to dissipate. Shower and wash your outdoor clothes promptly when you return indoors.
Improve Air Quality
Reduce moisture in your home further by using a dehumidifier and an air conditioner. Humidity levels between 35 and 50 percent are ideal, and you can purchase an inexpensive humidity sensor at a local hardware store. Put an exhaust fan in your bathroom to dissipate water faster. A HEPA filter can help keep airborne mold spores from infiltrating your home's air vents. Buy a vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce mold gathered by your vacuum cleaner.
Avoid Certain Outdoor Spaces
Away from your home, certain stores and places may harbor mold more so than others. Gardening stores, greenhouses, flower shops, construction sites and antique stores may contain mold. Wear your mask or take allergy medication before going to these types of places. Check mold levels by looking at local air quality reports before going outside.
Mold allergies come from your body's reaction to certain types of fungus. Exposure may come from indoors or outdoors, and prevention represents one of the best ways to combat mold allergy symptoms. A mold allergy can cause coughing, itchy eyes, hives, trouble breathing and swollen eyelids. If your doctor diagnoses a mold allergy, take these steps to help mitigate symptoms.