5 Easy Tips To Limit Mold Growth and Exposure

By Brian Karr

The idea of mold exposure seems simple – If there is active mold growth then you are likely going to be exposed to mold.  While that may be true, it is a bird’s eye view of the situation, but before I can expand on that I need explain the terminology that is used to evaluate a building’s mold status.

There are three “conditions” used to describe the mold health of a building. 

  1. Condition 1: A normal fungal ecology. An indoor environment that may have settled spores, fungal fragments or trace of actual growth whose identity, location and quantity are reflective of a normal fungal ecology for a similar indoor environment.

  2. Condition 2: Settled spores. An indoor environment that is primarily contaminated with settled spores that were dispersed directly or indirectly from a condition 3 area, and which may have traces of actual growth.

  3. Condition 3: Actual growth. An indoor environment that is contaminated with the presence of actual mold growth and associated spores.  Actual growth includes growth that is active or dormant, visible or hidden.

So lets take a closer look a Condition 2 mold condition. Part of the metabolic process of mold is to disperse spores into the air. Gravity then causes these mold spores to settle on surfaces and on the ground. Often times we see this effect in areas that are adjacent to the mold source. For example, if there is active mold growth in a bathroom, then the bedroom that is attached to that bathroom may have settled spores resulting in elevated mold levels in the space. 

SO WHAT'S THE POINT?

Well... mold spores can survive for extended periods of time, and what I failed to mention above is that they can attach themselves to dirt and dust. What I see on almost a daily basis is that a lack of basic cleaning, along with clutter-filled areas, results in reservoirs where dirt and dust gather, creating prime locations for mold spores to harbor themselves.

I went to a client location today that was filled with clutter. The hallways, the rooms, the bathrooms… pretty much everywhere. And guess what else was everywhere? That’s right. Dust. Lots of dust.

This particular client was hypersensitive, meaning that her body has extreme reactions to mold and other airborne particulates, and she was complaining of these reactions in her home to the point where she would sleep in her car to avoid it. What she didn’t realize is that she could easily limit her physical reactions by simply cleaning her house. Removing dirt and dust from her environment would be removing settled and attached mold spores. With that in mind...

5 EASY AREAS YOU CAN CLEAN TO LIMIT DUST AND MOLD EXPOSURE

  1. The cavity between your dishwasher and the kitchen cabinets. No one ever looks in there, but it gathers a lot of dirt and dust.

  2. The grill under your refrigerator. Just take a look down there and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  3. Air conditioning vents. How often do you change your A/C filters? I’m guessing you clean your vents even less than that.

  4. On top of ceiling fan blades. I guarantee you’ll find all kinds of fun goodies up there.

  5. Cluttered areas. Dust and dirt hides in the nooks and crannies that many people choose to ignore when cleaning.

Put these tips to work and you’ll take a step towards breathing easy and being healthy, and check out more mold prevention tips here. If you have any questions regarding potential mold or indoor air quality issues in your home, please don't hesitate to call us (888-351-9565) or contact us here. Our certified experts will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have. 

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