Stifle Summertime Sniffles with Humidity Control
Dust mites and molds are the two most common indoor allergensï¿½and both experience population peaks during the hot, humid months of June, July, and August. Since dust mites and molds require moisture to grow, you can curb their population growth with a dehumidifier that removes excess moisture from the air.
|Monitor the humidity in your home with a hygrometer, or humidity gauge, and keep your home's relative humidity between 40 and 50 percent using a dehumidifier.
Dust mites thrive in the warm, humid environment provided by your bed and feast on your dead skin. At least 10% of the human population and approximately 80% of allergy sufferers are allergic to proteins found in dust mite waste particles. You cannot see the microscopic arachnids, but as many as 10,000,000 dust mites may be living in your mattress. The weight of the average mattress doubles after ten years due to dust mite infestation, and the weight of the average pillow increases 10% after one year. The first line of defense against dust mites is allergy relief bedding (also known as dust mite covers) which blocks not only dust mites, but also mold spores, animal dander, and other allergens. If you're allergic to dust mites, you should also considerlaundry detergents, laundry additives, and carpet cleaners specially made to denature dust mite allergen.
Over 80% of people with respiratory allergy symptoms are sensitive to some type of mold. Molds can grow on wood, ceilings, wallpaper, paint, carpet, sheet rock, and insulation, and they use their powerful enzymes to dissolve home materials in the same way that they dissolve decaying plant matter in nature. An environment with high humidity and high moisture sets the stage for extreme mold growth and thereby poses a risk to your health. Kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, and crawlspaces are notorious for mold growth. If any part of your home has experienced water damage, then you'll certainly find mold there. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one-third to one-half of all U.S. buildings have areas damp enough for mold growth.
Mold growth can not only lead to structural damage to your home (like sagging floors), but it can also adversely affect your health. You can be exposed to mold by touching moldy materials, eating moldy foods, and breathing in microscopic mold spores in the air. You can inhale over a half million spores per minute without even knowing it. Mold allergy symptoms may include skin rash, runny nose, irritated eyes, cough, congestion, and aggravation of asthma. Repair any leaks and make sure your home is adequately ventilated to prevent mold growth. Use diluted bleach or the versatile, odorless M-1 House Wash to clean up visible mold growth, and use M-1 Sure Cote as a sealant to prevent future mold growth.
A HEPA air purifier will remove a minimum of 99.97% of all dust mite allergens, mold spores, and other allergens in your home, and a HEPA vacuum cleaner will suck up microscopic allergens buried deep in your carpet.