Sometimes, we can be doing all the right things for our health but neglect the health of your home or spaces we occupy. This is not to say anything about how messy your home is, or how cluttered your office is; the cleanest of spaces can still be inside of “sick” buildings. We are not talking about feng shui so much as we are talking about fungus.
Fungi are notorious for contaminating indoor spaces. Often, there is visible evidence, such as mold on bathroom tile or underneath a kitchen sink. Other times, you can detect the distinct smell of mold when entering a building. Often, these can be seemingly superficial problems, remedied with some cleaning solutions and some elbow grease.
Other times, however, mold lurks in unsuspecting places. This can be behind drywall, in vents or basements, or any other number of corners of your home or office. Any area that is invisible, dark, has poor airflow and/or steady access to moisture––such as a leak in a roof or a drip from a pipe––is susceptible to mold colonization.
Once mold has colonized, it can release spores into the air, which doctors know can exacerbate allergies, asthma, and other conditions.
Molds can also emit poisons, known as mycotoxins, which can contaminate the space.
There is some evidence that buildings contaminated by mold can elicit dangerous health problems in people, yet often these contaminated buildings are written off as not being much of a problem.
If you are trying to address what you may think is an underlying health problem caused by mold, making sure the spaces you occupy are mold-free is paramount. Here is a simple, 3 step plan to hack the health of your building, and thus ensure your own health is protected.
If You See Mold, Clean It.
Often, mold is visible in a bathroom or kitchen or other places that contain moisture or damp air. If you see mold, do not give it a chance to flourish. There are many essential oil-based or otherwise natural cleaners that can kill mold. Worst case scenario, bleach can be useful for cleaning mold, but caution is necessary when using harsh chemicals.
If You Suspect Mold Contamination, Test The Air.
Often, mold lurks in invisible places; just because you do not see mold does not mean your home is mold-free. Many construction materials, such as drywall, can be susceptible to mold contamination. The efficient buildings we live in today ironically restrict airflow that would help prevent mold from flourishing, which is something to be aware of. Buildings that have had water damage, roof leaks, or floods are also very susceptible to invisible mold, even after they have been “cleaned” up.
If you suspect mold is lurking in unseen places, test the air in your home with a mold test kit.
If Your Space Is Contaminated, Remediate.
If your test kit comes back for virulent forms of mold, it is time to remediate. This can mean replacing drywall, other compromised building material, or even contaminated furniture. Remember that mold spores are microscopic, and once they are in the air, they can land in unsuspecting places. This might mean that professional mold remediation is necessary, which can be expensive, but is worth the cost.
This might also mean taking preventative steps to keep mold from contaminating your home again, which can mean repairing roofs, installing proper draining systems around your home, repairing plumbing, or other steps to prevent moisture from getting into your home. When the weather is nice, opening windows to allow plenty of ventilation can also be beneficial.
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