Mold is a fungus that can be found anywhere. Being exposed to mold (at work, home, or outdoors) causes the immune system to overreact. Symptoms include cough, itchy, watery eyes, and hives. People who have asthma may experience wheezing and difficulty breathing. There are some medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, and allergy shots that can help relieve symptoms and manage asthma. Getting rid of mold toxicity is much more difficult.
According to WebMD, here are some tips on eliminating mold:
Around the house:
- Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates, to reduce moisture in the air.
- Keep indoor humidity below 60% if possible. You can measure relative humidity with a hygrometer, an inexpensive instrument available at many hardware stores.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean. Make sure drain lines are free of obstructions and flow properly.
- Keep the house warm in cool weather. As the temperature goes down, the air is less able to hold moisture and it condenses on cold surfaces, which can encourage mold growth.
- Add insulation to cold surfaces, such as exterior walls, floors, and windows to reduce condensation.
- Dry wet areas within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Fix leaks and seepage. The ground should slope away from your house. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing.
- Have a heating and cooling contractor check your heating and cooling system to make sure it’s sized and operating properly to remove humidity. If your system is too big or the airflow is incorrect, your air conditioner will not remove humidity like it should. Also, ask the contractor to check your duct system for air leaks, and proper size and air flow to each room.
- Open doors between rooms to increase circulation, which carries heat to cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners.
In the kitchen:
- Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside (not into the attic) whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
- Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
- Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
- Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary.