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Monday, July 16, 2018

How To Reduce Mold And Mildew To Improve Your Health


Mold and mildew require hot and humid conditions in order to develop. There are four locations in your home where the conditions may be just right for these fungi to grow. They include the basement, crawlspace, kitchen, and bathroom. It is important to take control of the situation because if mold and mildew develop, they can pose serious health issues. This article will teach you what to watch out for and how to control the conditions to prevent mold and mildew.





    Mold And Mildew – What They Are And What Causes Them

    Mold and mildew are two different types of fungi. A fungus is an organic material that requires specific conditions to form and spread. A high moisture content and warm temperatures are the two main ingredients needed in order for these fungi to develop. Both can pose potential health hazards and they can cause damage to the structure of your home as well. Let's take a closer look at mold and mildew.

    Mold and Mildew of different colors!
    Mold and Mildew of different colors!

    Mold

    • Slimy or fuzzy appearance
    • Black, blue, red or green in color
    • Offensive odor


    Mildew

    • Powdery appearance
    • Usually white but can turn to yellow, brown or black
    • Offensive odor

    The formation of mold or mildew is dependent on three main ingredients. They include high heat (temperatures between 77 and 87 degrees F), high humidity (moisture content between 62 and 93 percent) and a food source such as an organic material. Food scraps or some other item that is rotting or fermenting and has been exposed to the high heat and moisture for an extended period of time will do. Fortunately, there are ways in which these conditions can be controlled.

    Mold And Mildew – How They Affect Health

    Microscopic airborne spores released by molds and mildews are easy to breathe and can travel deep into the respiratory system. When this happens, several different reactions may be triggered and are categorized as either allergic or asthmatic.

    Some individuals experience breathing difficulties as well as irritations to the eyes, nose, and throat. In extreme cases, airborne mold spores have led to neurological conditions and even death.

    Mold And Mildew – How They Affect Your Home

    There are many ways in which mold and mildew can cause damage to your home. Wood, in particular, responds poorly to a buildup of these fungi. If left unchecked, wood can begin the rotting phase which will reduce its structural integrity. Metal can also be damaged through the development of rust which can also weaken it. Drywall will warp, plywood can buckle and grout can lose its strength and result in tile damage.

    How To Prevent Mold and Mildew In Your Home

    As stated, the best way to prevent the conditions developing that can lead to fungi growth is to control them. One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep the humidity levels in your living space at a safe level. In order to do this, you can employ the use of a dehumidifier. This appliance works by removing excess moisture from the air and converting it to water. The water is collected in a container in the dehumidifier that can be removed for disposal. Cross ventilation is another effective remedy for high humidity. It involves opening windows or doors to permit fresh air to flow in and through your home. The cleaning products you use in your home can also be partly to blame for the development of mold and mildew. Cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals may actually leave behind organic material that feeds mold and mildew. Water-based, non-toxic cleaners will promote fungi growth. Keep your home clean with regular washing and disinfecting of all surfaces. As mold and mildew require moisture to develop, you can prevent this from happening by drying spills or any sign of wetness on a smooth surface. Other sources of moisture to monitor and keep dry include any HVAC ductwork, around sinks, tubs, and faucets as well as dishwashing machines, laundry machines, and refrigerators. It is also important to monitor the bathroom and kitchen vents to the outdoors.




    Stay Healthy With The Right Humidity Levels

    Because moisture content in the air often leads to the development and spread of fungi, the most important and effective way to control humidity inside your home is with a dehumidifier. A healthy humidity level ranges from between 40 and 60 percent. This means the air you breathe inside your home is not too dry and not too moist. Your goal is to keep your home humid but not too humid as too much humidity can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Automatic humidity control systems are another option that works to keep your home at the correct humidity level all day long and are a great option for problematic areas such as bathrooms.

    The Other End of The Scale Presents Health Risks As Well

    Clearly, moist air combined with high heat and a food source is not good for your health once mold and mildew form. However, the same can be said when the air you breath is dry. In other words, low humidity levels are also harmful to your health and home. When humidity is too low, it dries out your skin which can result in many different health concerns ranging from skin irritations to eye, nose and respiratory issues including difficulty breathing. Allergic reactions such as coughing, sneezing, and nosebleeds are common. Headaches, muscle pain, and joint pain can also be the result of lower than normal humidity. As for the structure of your home, dry conditions can cause wood to warp, crack or split which impacts structural integrity. Musical instruments like guitars and pianos will not only come out of tune, they can be damaged when wood splits or glued parts fall apart when the glue dries and loses its hold.

    The Proper Humidity Is Good For Your Health

    When there is too much moisture or not enough in the air we breathe, it can lead to health concerns. Some may be minor but if left alone many of these conditions can develop into serious health problems. Fortunately, there are preventative measures that can be taken to ensure humidity remains at a safe level. Dehumidifiers can help to reduce humidity levels and humidifiers can increase moisture content. When needed, both are good for your health!

    Author: David

    David is the owner of DehumidifierReviewsInfo.com, a website that provides reviews and valuable information about the best dehumidifiers to remove moisture, clean and purify the air in your home.


    That's all for today!
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