The world is fast changing as we deal with things we have never had to experience in our lifetime. It can seem overwhelming to process and change our lives so quickly, but is important to not let stress overtake us and paralyze. Rather, let us focus on the things we CAN do to make this transition easier and more productive.
Many of us are confined to our homes for an indefinite amount of time. This can be a positive thing as we get to spend more time together as a family and do projects that maybe we never had time to do before because life kept us too busy and consumed. However, if we happen to be restricted to a house that contains toxic mold, this can have a very negative impact on our health and well being. Until things return to “normal” and we are able to get professional help with a mold infestation, it is crucial to do what we can to create the healthiest space to spend this time.
Open the Windows
Thankfully, it is springtime and warming up in many places affected by the novel coronavirus. This allows many of us to begin opening our windows and allowing the fresh air to penetrate our homes. This fresh air can help dilute the airborne mold spores and create a healthier environment. In a time when respiratory health is so crucial, it is important to note that “fresh air helps the airways of your lungs to dilate more fully and improves the cleansing action of your lungs.” 1 It is wonderful that something so simple as opening our windows can improve our lung function and cleanse the indoor air!
Turn on the Air Filter
Not everyone can open their windows, or keep them open for long, due to heating costs, noise pollution, etc. However, many people can use a HEPA air filter to improve the indoor air quality, especially when we are all spending so much time in our homes. Air filters can help clean the air we breath each day, and lessen the mold we are inhaling into our lungs.
Boost the Immune System
So, while it is important to reduce the mold you are breathing in your home, it is also a good idea to avoid moldy foods, and focus on eating foods that actually help the body deal with mold. Thankfully, we have lists of foods to eat, as well as ones to avoid that you can check out. It is probably a good idea to practice healthy eating habits as much as possible during this time, which also translates into the body being able to better manage any toxins that we may be exposed to in our homes.
Balance Your Humidity
You may want to investigate if your mold issue is coming from high humidity levels in the home. High humidity levels can often be a contributing factor or cause of mold growth. 2 The EPA suggests reducing humidity levels to 30-60% indoors (ideally 30-50%) to decrease and prevent mold. A simple dehumidifier can help reduce the humidity in your home to be less inviting to mold growth. If you think your humidity is too high, and can’t get out of your homes right now due to the quarantine, you can hop on over to Amazon and check out the selection there. Just be sure to get the correct size for your space.
Fix Your Leaks
If your mold issue is not from high humidity, it is likely due to a leak. Is your roof leaking? Do you have some plumbing that is allowing water to escape to where it shouldn’t be? Now is a good time to do a little detective work and find the source that is feeding your mold. If you are able to fix the issue during quarantine, or at least temporarily fix it until a plumbing or roof repair can be made, that might be a good project to do while we wait to be released into the public again.
Whenever you are dealing with a repair due to mold, it is important to note that the EPA recommends that any mold problem larger than 10 square feet be examined by an expert. So keep that in mind, especially if you heave health issues or respiratory problems. In the mean time, doing our best to stay positive and keep healthy homes during this situation is crucial.