Lifestyle and home remedies
To keep mold allergy symptoms at bay, take these measures:
- Sleep with your windows closed to keep out outdoor mold. The concentration of airborne mold spores tends to be greatest at night, when the weather is cool and damp.
- Wear a dust mask over your nose and mouth to keep mold spores out if you have to rake leaves, mow your lawn or work around compost.
- Avoid going outdoors at certain times, such as immediately after a rainstorm, in foggy or damp weather, or when the published mold count is high.
To reduce mold growth in your home, consider these tips:
- Eliminate sources of dampness in basements, such as pipe leaks or groundwater seepage.
- Use a dehumidifier in any area of your home that smells musty or damp. Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. Remember to clean the collection bucket and condensation coils regularly.
- Use an air conditioner, and consider installing central air conditioning with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter attachment. The HEPA filter can trap mold spores from outdoor air before they're circulated inside your home.
- Change filters on your furnace and air conditioners regularly. Have forced air heating ducts inspected and, if necessary, cleaned.
- Be sure all bathrooms are properly ventilated, and run the ventilation fan during a shower or bath and immediately after to dry the air. If you don't have a ventilation fan, open a window or door while you're showering or bathing.
- Don't carpet bathrooms and basements.
- Promote groundwater drainage away from your house by removing leaves and vegetation from around the foundation and cleaning out rain gutters frequently.
- Keep organic plant containers clean and dry, such as those made of straw, wicker or hemp.
- Toss or recycle old books and newspapers. If left in damp places, such as basements, they can quickly become moldy.