BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Many people are taking advantage of the summer months to expand their to-do lists and excursions. Unfortunately, there is an unwanted fungus that also expands its activities during the hot and rainy Louisiana summer season.
Mold thrives best in warm, humid environments, which is exactly what Louisiana gets during the summer.
It is therefore important to regularly check his home to ensure that the unwanted intruder has not appeared.
Mold is a fuzzy surface growth of fungi on damp or decaying materials and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can find its way into a home through open doors, windows, vents and heating and air conditioning systems.
Mold in the outdoor air can also attach to clothes, shoes, and even pets. Using these objects and creatures as transportation, he can make his way inside.
Why is mold so dangerous?
Health experts warn against exposure to mold because it can cause a variety of health effects, ranging from nasal congestion, wheezing, red or itchy eyes and skin to fever and to shortness of breath.
Although some people may not react to exposure at all, the CDC says people with allergies and immunosuppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to reactions.
How to protect your home from mold
- Keep the humidity level as low as possible, between 30% and 50%, throughout the day by running an air conditioner or dehumidifier. Since humidity levels change throughout the day, periodically check humidity levels.
- Make sure your home has enough ventilation and use exhaust fans that exhaust air outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer is vented outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold doesn’t have moisture to grow.
- Avoid wallpapering rooms or places like bathrooms or basements, as they can hold a lot of moisture.
CDC recommendations on mold remediation
Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup (8 ounces) of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
If you choose to use bleach to clean mold:
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous and toxic fumes.
- Open windows and doors to bring in fresh air.
- Wear non-porous gloves and eye protection.
- Small areas (like a shower or a door-sized area) can often be cleaned by residents, but larger areas may require more professional help. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.
- If you have a large amount of mold and don’t think you can handle the cleanup on your own, you can contact a professional who has experience cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
Click here for more information on mold from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).