How to Get Rid of Mold Spores in the Air & in your Lungs [SOLVED]
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Have you been staying at home, and yet find yourself sniffling and sneezing every couple of seconds?
Maybe you find that your eyes are watery or itchy, and your nose is runny.
Well, if you’ve looked at all the usual suspects of these symptoms and found none of them guilty, then it is possible that you have a housemate living rent free, and it’s high time you evict them!
What are we talking about? Well, mold spores, of course!
If you’re feeling out of your league with this serious household problem, well, don’t worry. We’re going to help you tell whether or not you have a mold problem inside your home.
If you end up confirming that you are unknowingly harboring a housemate, then we’ll even teach you how to remove them safely – both from your house, and from your body – and how to prevent them from coming back.
But first, what is mold, and how is it affecting me and my home?
Mold and mildew are agents of nature, and they break down organic material to enrich the soil. They’re not so friendly for us humans, though.
Some people have allergic reactions to mold, though even if you don’t have allergies, you might still encounter some problems with mold in your home.
For example, if you already suffer from respiratory problems, then inhaling mold spores will only worsen your symptoms.
Even if you’re perfectly healthy, living in an area with an accumulation of mold can result in more headaches, and make you more prone to eye, nose, and throat irritation.
How do I detect mold growth in my home?
The first sign of mold that people usually point to is its smell. It’s described as having an old, “musty” smell.
Visitors will find it very easy to notice this smell, as they have yet to be accustomed to it, unlike you, who have been living in your house and have most probably gotten used to it.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, it’s also a good idea to check around for visual signs of it.
Mold grows in moist places, so be sure to snoop around your bathroom, kitchen, laundry area, and other possible areas where moisture could gather.
If you spot any leaks or water stains, then that may be the source of your mold problem.
Mold can also appear on your ceilings, walls, and even furniture. It will have a fuzzy or velvety texture, and may be yellow, green, brown, or black in color.
You can’t completely remove mold spores from your house, because they’re simply present wherever we go.
How long do these mold spores stay in the air then?
How Long Do Mold Spores Stay In The Air?
Mold spores are nature’s recycling team, so they’re always floating around looking for organic materials to decompose.
In fact, as long as mold is present, mold spores are never completely removed from the air.
Mold spores stay airborne indefinitely, but you should know that if a damp spot is unattended to for 24 to 48 hours, then it’s likely that the mold spores in the air will congregate on that one spot, forming more mold.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the spores in the air are gone – they’ve already been replaced by new ones.
Unfortunately, a high concentration of these spores can be harmful to you, so it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of it in your home.
So how can I reduce the amount of mold spores in my home?
How to Get Rid of Mold Spores In the Air?
Firstly, the simplest way to reduce the chances of your inhalation of these mold spores is to physically direct it out the house.
Simply make sure you open doors and windows often; this encourages air flow and will discourage mold spores from setting up camp in any particular place for long.
You can also turn on any appliances that encourage ventilation, like fans and air conditioning units.
Secondly, mold remover sprays work to kill off any mold it comes into contact with. This is another cheap option that you can easily find online or at a local store.
However, while effective and quick, these are only short term solutions. To completely remove mold spores from the air, we'll have to get to the root of the problem.
1. Get cleaning
You can physically remove mold by, you guessed it, cleaning your house!
Mold is often the number one direct cause for mold spores in the air. So we know that it sounds like so much of a chore, but it’s really the BEST way to ensure that you’re eradicating mold growth from your house.
Plus, you’d be getting that off your to-do list too!
You’ll have three very simple options of ingredients to aid you in your not-so-spring cleaning. In fact, you probably already have these things in your house already:
White vinegar kills 82% of mold, as long as it’s not diluted!
Pour it into a spray bottle, spray directly to the area of mold, and let it sit for an hour to allow the vinegar to absorb the mold.
Usually, vinegar is used in conjunction with the next ingredient, so read on for the next step.
A mixture of baking soda and water can go a long way. Shake them together in a spray bottle, and spray over the affected area.
Scrub the area until the mixture has cleared, in which case, congratulations! You’ve cleared that one spot of mold.
You can wipe the leftovers away with water and spray over it once, to prevent regrowth in that particular area.
The same can be done with vinegar. However, a baking soda mixture doesn't have the strong smell that vinegar often leaves behind.
Hydrogen peroxide is the cleaning agent to end all cleaning agents.
Everyone must simply have these on hand if you want to save money while cleaning your house effectively.
You can use this to scrub moldy areas, but be sure to wear latex gloves to avoid getting your hands irritated, and a mask to avoid inhaling the mold!
If you own a carpet that you suspect is saturated with mold and mildew, worry not! We can help you with that, too.
You can begin by vacuuming the entire carpet to remove as much of the mold spores from its surface.
Next, with a mixture of laundry detergent and cool water, sponge up the remaining mold on your carpet until the stain is gone. Rinse and dry the carpet.
If you’re worried about the same problem with your furniture, then rather than using laundry detergent, use a mixture of ammonia and water.
Follow the same steps: vacuum, and sponge up the mold stains.
Of course, we all know that the best cure is prevention, so it’s better to stop mold growth at its root before it completely takes over your house.
2. Regulate humidity levels
In conjunction with cleaning, because we know that mold thrives off of moisture, you should always maintain an optimal humidity level.
Your bathroom is one of the areas of the house that is always wet, so you should install an exhaust fan to ensure the area is well ventilated.
You can also wipe down your shower curtains and tiles every night to ensure no spot of water is left for the mold to settle down in.
It’s recommended that you keep humidity levels within your home below 60% in the summer. In the winter, this should be somewhere between 20% to 45%.
(A hygrometer can help keep track of your indoor humidity levels!)
Again, we're hitting the root source of the problem here. No mold = no release of mold spores.
For this, a dehumidifier will come in handy to regulate the amount of moisture in your indoor environment.
There are lots of steps you could take to prevent mold growth in your house, so take note if you don’t want to wake up to damp, musky spots in your bathrooms and kitchen one day.
3. Use an air purifier
Once you've cleaned and removed the root sources of mold, use an air purifier to filter out any remaining mold spores in the air.
Air purifiers, like this one, that contain High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are our go-to for mold spore removal. They are able to trap more than 99% of particles in the air!
How To Get Rid Of Mold Spores In Your Lungs?
If you’ve only begun to notice the mold growth in your house, then it’s possible most of the spores have already made their way into your airways!
That sounds like danger, but worry not.
Just like how you evicted those pesky particles from your home, there are a number of things you could do to generally cleanse your lungs.
1. Boost your immune system
These will help to boost your immune system to speed up the detoxification of harmful substances.
You can usually find probiotics in fermented food, like miso, kimchi, cheese, and even pickles! Of course, yoghurt is a go-to for people who need probiotics.
2. Take anti-fungal drugs
There are also anti-fungal drugs that you could take to kill the presence of mold spores in your lungs. However, these should be prescribed by your doctor, because it’s usually only used for the most serious of infections.
3. Inhale steam
You could do regular steam inhalations. Just boil a bowl of water and inhale its steam. This method is perfect for short-term immediate relief, so you’ll feel your airways clear up right after you do it.
4. "Controlled Coughing"
Our body coughs because it’s trying to get rid of toxic materials, so you could do “controlled coughing” to expel these toxic materials yourself.
5. Nasal Irrigation
Lastly, if you feel that you’ve inhaled more than your fair share of mold spores, then consider nasal irrigation!
This process is as simple as pouring saline water into one of your nostrils, and letting it flow naturally out the other, taking all the spores with it.
You can create a saline mixture by yourself, or you can also purchase a nasal irrigation pack in drugstores.
Conclusion: How to Get Rid of Mold Spores In the Air & In Your Lungs?
Mold shouldn’t be taking up free space in your homes, so you should always remember to check around your house for signs of its growth.
If mold is present, their spores are continuously being replaced and can remain in the air indefinitely.
You'll want to remove the mold itself, and these three simple ingredients are your best friends in this endeavor: hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, baking soda.
Use them to scrub your house free of your unwanted guests. In addition, remove any excess moisture from the air to prevent further buildup of mold But don’t neglect to clear your body of mold spores, either!
Prevention is the way to go when it comes to dealing with mold, but it’s useful to know all this in case you find yourself with a very persistent housemate.