Moulds or mildews are types of fungus. They live off decaying plant life. Moulds give off spores which become airborne. The air is never free of spores. When they are inhaled by a sensitive person, they can produce allergic symptoms. Moulds in the home are found all year round; those in the soil are found from spring to autumn.
How to avoid moulds:
Moulds are associated with dampness or high humidity. Here are some situations in which moulds are likely to be present. A mould-sensitive person should avoid these situations or at least reduce his or her exposure to them.
Outdoor moulds can be encountered:
- Cutting grass
- Harvesting grain
- Cutting or binding hay
- Making compost piles
- Hiking in forest or woods, especially near piles of fallen leaves or rotting wood
- During hot, dry, windy weather which helps disperse the moulds in the air
- During warm humid weather which allows optimum growth of mould
- In cottages and hotels, especially when they are first opened for the season
- In farms or barns that have hay or other grain stored in them or damp sheds or garages
Indoor moulds are often found in:
- Unfinished basements and attics
- Lather goods
- Old foam rubber pillows or mattresses
- Dried flowers and potted plants
- Surfaces soiled by children or pets
- Shower stalls, cracks between bathroom tiles, refrigerator drip tray, rubbish bins, utility rooms
- Air-conditioners, dehumidifiers, humidifiers and vaporizers that are not cleaned every week
- Boiler filters that are not changed regularly
- Camping equipment (sleeping bags, boat, cushion e.t.c)
- Damp cupboards in which damp shoes and clothing have been placed
- Stored foods such as dried fruits, vegetables, bread and cheese
- Liquids such as beer, wine, vinegar and Soya sauce
How to reduce indoor moulds:
- Control house dust
- Use mould-resistant paints on walls in unfinished basements.
- Use dehumidifiers in unfinished or damp basements in humid weather
- Wash surfaces such as window ledges and shower stalls with Lysol or chlorine at least once every three months
- Clean equipment such as boiler, filters. Air-conditioners, dehumidifiers, humidifiers and vaporizers frequently
- Minimize the number of house plants or cover the soil with aluminum foil. If possible, use mould-inhibition solutions in the soil. These can be obtained from local nurseries.