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Allergy Home
ENT and Allergy Center of Missouri
Mold Avoidance

Indoor Avoidance for Molds

  • Reduce the amount of house dust by dusting and vacuuming (to be performed by a non-allergic family member).
  • Use fungicide sprays such as Lysol, ammonia & bleach to kill mold spores in damp, mold growing areas of the home (showers, sinks, toilets, water pipes, window sills).
  • Wash window ledges and shower stalls with a 10% bleach solution or Lysol at least once every 3 months.
  • Avoid use of in-line air purifiers in your heaters and central air conditioning systems. These collect molds and rapidly become uncleanable. Use stand-alone room air purifiers with replaceable air filters instead.
  • An air-treatment system such as a  H.E.P.A. filter air purifier is  particularly useful in the bedroom.
  • Use mold inhibiting paints or paint additives especially in dark, damp areas such as the basement.
  • Reduce the levels of dampness in areas such as the attic, basement or crawl spaces. Check for dequate drainage, assure all drains are effective, and, if possible, cover ground with black polyethylene sheets to reduce moisture.
  • Regularly clean or  replace all house filters, such as the furnace, air conditioner, dehumidifier, and air-treatment systems. Specialty furnace and air conditioner filters that remove mold, pollen and dust and that can be easily replaced are available.
  • Insert filters in air ducts and use vent covers for extra filtration.
  • Use polyester or Dacron pillows.  Replace pillows once a year.
  • Keep general home humidity levels less than 40%. A dehumidifier will help.
  • Avoid using wallpaper as it is highly conductive to mold growth. If wallpaper is used, add borax or boric acid to wallpaper paste to slow mold growth.
  • Encase mattress and box springs in vinyl covers.  Wipe cover with a damp cloth every few days.
  • Avoid foam rubber pillows and mattresses that are likely to become moldy.
  • Keep house plants to a minimum and cover soil with aluminum foil.  Mold inhibiting solutions are available for use with potting soil.
  • Avoid use of aquariums and terrariums that promote mold growth.
  • Dry wet clothes, towels or rags as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.
  • Use cleaner to prevent mildew on shower curtains.
  • Check dryer vent for proper operation and outdoor venting.
  • Clean medically necessary bedside humidifiers weekly with white vinegar/water solution.
  • Empty refrigerator water pans frequently. Remove old food from refrigerator.
  • Periodically wash refrigerator shelving with a 10% bleach solution or Lysol.
  • Keep garbage containers clean and empty them frequently. Keep containers in the garage or outside, if possible.

Outdoor Avoidance for Molds

  • Stay indoors when mold levels are high. Molds are usually associated with dampness and high humidity.
  • Keep windows closed when driving. Use the car air conditioner to re-circulate air inside the car.
  • Avoid piles of leaves, shaded gardens and compost areas.
  • Keep lawn short. Mowing should be performed by a non-allergic family member or lawn service.
  • Plan vacations to dry locations when mold levels are high in your area.
  • Avoid unpaved parking areas and construction sites.
  • Avoid stagnant water areas in creeks, lakes,ponds, swimming pools, etc.
  • Wear H.E.P.A.-filter masks when performing unavoidable dusty outdoor chores.
  • Avoid walking in damp woods or forests.

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