The onset of monsoon is a joy to behold considering how longingly we wait for the rains. The downpour washing away all the dirt and dust sure makes for a pleasing sight and petrichor never fails to take me back to my childhood days. While petrichor is a sweet memory associated with monsoon, a little bitter memory that comes back each year with monsoon is the peeling off wall paint and the triggered breathing ailments.
Well, it is not rain that directly causes the problem but the increase in humidity which creates an ideal condition for bacterial and fungal growth which in turn affects everything in the environment. The black-greenish looking spot on the corners of the walls, roofs, wooden surfaces, upholstery, food, clothes and so on is commonly found mold. It is a kind of fungi found both indoors and outdoors which breeds in damp, soggy places and is not just unpleasing to the eye but also contributes to health risks. As the mold spores are present everywhere in our surroundings; they drift through the air unnoticed due to their extremely small size (3-40 microns) and eventually settle on the surfaces. Hence, it is best to put preventive measures in action now rather than control the growth once it starts.
Since the size of these spores is even smaller than the average pollen grain, they can easily be inhaled into the respiratory system without getting filtered in the nose. These spores then cause allergic reactions such as wheezing, coughing and in some cases where people are particularly sensitive this can aggravate asthma and bronchitis.
But fret not! Here are some tips that will help keep the mold at bay.
1. Proper Ventilation
A good air flow maintains the moisture content in-house thereby reducing mold growth. Thus, letting in fresh air at least once a day doesn’t let moisture build up in the enclosed spaces.
2. Keep It Dry
No matter how hard you try, water seeps in somehow and damp walls and ceilings can provide an excellent ground for mold to grow in. Make sure to fix any visible cracks on the roof, ceiling or walls of the house. Check the water pipes and conceal any leaks. If there are no leaks then follow the routine of keeping all places dry, especially bathroom and kitchen areas. Avoid leaving wet towels or clothes on carpets or in washing machines.
3. Spritz Away
A combination of one part vinegar and five parts water in a spray bottle is the easiest home remedy to prevent the growth of mold. A quick spray around the corners of your home is a quick fix solution. It is not only nontoxic but also one of the best mold deterrents in the market and a great alternative to bleach. Caution: never mix vinegar and bleach together. Additionally, you can put camphor balls or neem leaves in the cupboards and closets to protect clothes and other items from dampness.
4. Air Purifiers To The Rescue
Despite all your best efforts to control moisture level indoors, there are high chances that it’s not going to be enough when it’s constantly raining outside. That is why you need an air purifier which will act as a dehumidifier and also purify the air inside your house of all the VOCs and other toxic gases. It will maintain a constant humidity level and will also absorb odour, letting you breathe in fresh air.
However, even after all the precautions against mold, chances are that it may still find a way inside your home. Getting your house tested is a sure shot solution to eradicate the problem, once and for all. Professional help for mold testing will lead you to the root of the cause as well as give a fair idea of the severity of the problem. Based on which, further customised solutions for remediation can be put forward in making your home a safe environment as before.