Unless you currently suffer from asthma or seasonal allergies, chances are you’re probably not taking mold as seriously as you should. Yet like many of the crucial health conditions we outline on our website, a mold illness can be just as fatal.
Mold is a type of fungus comprised of small organisms. These organisms can reproduce by means of tiny spores that travel through the air. It can be found in all types of environments in all types of unsightly forms –– from the slimy black spots on your shower curtain to the fuzzy white patches in your basement carpet.
Though outdoor mold plays an essential role in nature by breaking down dead leaves, plants and trees, it is when the mold lands on a damp surface indoors that it can pose a serious health risk. All it takes for mold to thrive is moisture, which causes the fungus to grow and release spores into the air that can easily be inhaled.
According to EverydayHealth, about three dozen types of mold can cause respiratory allergies and trigger hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin and rash. Those who have severe mold allergies can experience more serious symptoms such as shortness of breath and aggravated asthma attacks.
Although you can’t practically eliminate mold from your homes completely, you can prevent indoor mold growth. Implement these five practices to reduce your family’s exposure to mold spores:
- Use a dehumidifier to avoid excess moisture indoors
- Clean out air ducts regularly
- Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water
- Avoid outdoor activities when mold counts are high or wear a dust mask to avoid allergens
- Shower immediately upon returning from outdoors to wash away any mold spores and prevent them from dispersing into your home
- Throw out or replace absorbent materials that may have been affected with mold