Why should I care about mold?
I’m not a biologist. I’m not a chemist. Yet, I’ve learned to care about mold.
Sinus headaches (the nasty kind that hijack my day) got my attention in the spring of 2021 when I turned on the air conditioning. From the sudden onset of symptoms and the musty smell that came from the vents, I knew it had to do with mold in the system. I had to act fast (the temperatures were forecast to rise into the 90’s in the next week), so I prioritized a search to find where these nasty microbes were living.
In preparing to write this blog, I found some helpful information on the EPA website in their article Ten Things You Should Know About Mold. Their Fact Number Two is what we here at HypoAir want to help people understand: “There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.” (emphasis added).
Then, Number Five tells us the target (and some remedies): “Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth…”
Finding and controlling the moisture means finding and controlling the mold!
I did tackle that air conditioning problem (I will describe more in the next article, Finding and Attacking Mold in your HVAC System) and went on to inspect the whole house. I have to admit, it’s not my favorite thing to do, and if sleek, manageable hair and healthier skin were the only considerations, I might be tempted to postpone it. But add in overall body health from low-mold air and the way it affects my sleeping and waking hours, I really started to care about mold, strange as that sounds!
Check out our Indoor Moisture Inventory. This inventory ranks moisture sources from large to small, so managing a few large ones at the top would equate to managing significantly more at the bottom. If you own your home, start at the top and remediate as many as possible within your budget and means. If you rent and have a reasonable landlord, talk to them and try to work out solutions. Even if you are sleeping on your friend’s couch and have $10 in your bank account, mold mitigation starts with getting informed (keep reading our posts!) and prioritizing reducing excess moisture in the house. That’s what friends are for, right?