Most of us have that one relative we dread coming over, but there’s another visitor that’s far more unwelcome – monsoon mold. As much as we enjoy the rain and the respite it gives us from the heat, it’s also an opportunity for this pesky microorganism to set up shop in your home.
So what really is mold, and how do we prevent it?
Mold, or mildew, is a type of fungi. It produces microscopic spores that float around in the air and causes irritation when breathed in. While it’s a necessary part of many ecosystems, mold is unsafe when it grows inside your home.
Mold can grow pretty much anywhere, if the right conditions are met. This means moist surfaces, humidity or warm temperatures, and a lack of sunlight. Most commonly, you will find mold where there is regular dampness, such as a bathroom. Some of the other potential spots you will find mold are:
- Leaks in the windows
- Ceilings, especially if there is a bathroom or balcony above the room
- Cardboard boxes or items
- Wood – furniture, utensils, flooring
- Carpets or rugs
Mold usually shows up as –
- A white powdery substance with black spots
- A white fuzzy patch
A completely black substance.
It can be many different colors, and it can smell musty. What’s important to note is that regardless of how the mold looks or smells, you should remove it. That’s because mold can cause sore throats, rashes, wheezing, and is particularly dangerous for those who are immunocompromised, pregnant, or suffer from asthma.
But before you worry about removing the mold, let’s first see how we can prevent it from forming at all.
Good airflow in your house will minimize any moisture build-up. Open your windows regularly, and make use of exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms. Try not to dry clothes indoors as much as possible.
Keep an eye on any sources of moisture, and be sure to fix any leaks in the roof, walls, or plumbing so that mold does not have moisture to grow.
Dry your furnishings ASAP
Consider not using carpets, rugs or thick floor mats in your rooms that may collect a lot of moisture. Immediately dry, or replace any upholstery that has been soaked or is damp. Wooden furniture should be wiped down and dried to prevent both mold and stains.
Cleaning bathrooms regularly with mold-killing products will help prevent the formation of mold. Dusting your home will also help, as mold feeds off of dust particles.
Monitor indoor plants
It’s good to be mindful of how much you water your indoor plants, as overwatering can increase humidity levels and create a favorable environment for mold growth.
So, while you can prevent mold, it can still be hard to be vigilant about it 24/7. In the event that some mold gets past you anyway, it’s best to call a professional to have it removed so that you can prevent any contact with the spores.
By keeping your house safe from mold, you keep yourself and your loved ones safe too. Go ahead, enjoy your hot chai and samosa while it pours outside this rainy season.
Sources: cdc.gov, webmd.com, https://breatheeasylabs.com/