Clean Air Day 2018 came and went last week, but it got us thinking: If mold thrives off elements present in the air we breathe, surely there must be a connection pertinent to our cause. And we were right.
One of the largest factors in mold survival is the amount of moisture in the air, as it can – and will – grow anywhere and on any substance that dampness is present.
But did you know that, as well as causing mold, excess moisture in the home can also contaminate the actual air, too? Just think of the cold, musty smell often accompanying it. And according to Global Action Plan – the organizers behind Clean Air Day – mold in the home is a source of air pollution itself. Yet the relationship is actually more complex, as if mold is present, toxic particles will emanate from it and infiltrate the air you breathe – not to mention the fact that damp itself causes water vapor, which in turn encourages microbial growth, leading to yet more mold in an ongoing vicious cycle. Thus, this two-way relationship emphasises how important – both for the cleanliness of the air and the actual, tangible things surrounding it – controlling the level of moisture is.
Monitoring the levels of humidity in the home, therefore, is extremely important, and most experts believe that erring on the lower side of the 40-60% recommended bracket will help to prevent the build-up of mold – thus keeping the air clean, too.
But there are many other things you can – and should – do to reduce the growth of mold and – by extension – keep the air around you clean. You can breathe a (toxin-free!) sigh of relief, as we’ve done the hard work for you:
Quick, easy and – most importantly – free, keeping your windows open wherever and whenever possible will ensure a healthy dose of air circulation – vital in keeping things clean. Don’t overlook where your clothes dryer is exhausting moisture – either – if it uses a recirculating fan, i.e. not taking the moisture outside, this is a problem.
Gas stoves and cooking pollutants in the kitchen as well as aerosol sprays and fragranced products in the bathroom are responsible for these rooms being high-toxin areas, so use extractor fans to ensure the air is regularly cleared.
Ensuring all surfaces are regularly cleaned and dusted – especially on walls in bathrooms and kitchens, which are prime spots that mold thrives off, is also a must. Using a non-toxic method, such as steam, is environmentally friendly, too. Vacuuming regularly is also important as this helps to reduce small airborne particles that can otherwise get in your lungs. It should go without saying, but ensuring you clean up any spills immediately is a must, while removing stains from your carpet swiftly and efficiently is also important. Just make sure you don’t use too much water while doing so.
Every indoor space should have one of these as it is the perfect weapon against excess moisture, which could lead to black ceilings and paint and wallpaper peeling off – not to mention the fact that it will help protect your personal belongings and keep your food fresher for longer, too. Most air purifiers work by trapping mold spores in a filter, but you can even go one step further than this and choose a unit that actually kills the mold completely – completely eliminating the risk of any more growing on the filter. Not all dehumidifiers are as good as each other, so choose your model carefully before you invest and ensure it is always kept clean and in good condition. Empty any water collectors regularly so as to prevent any excess vapor contributing to the moisture problem.
Other than just looking pretty, indoor plants – especially leafy greens – are vital in helping to eliminate airborne pollutants, thus purifying the air. According to indoor air experts, studies have even shown them to boost productivity and increase job satisfaction, so definitely something to consider while kitting out your office!
According to the people behind Clean Air Day, we spend 90% of our time indoors. Isn’t it time we ensured we’re breathing in the right stuff (and fighting off mold at the same time)?