Allergens in the home
With more Australians staying home and working from home, exposure to indoor allergens is not unusual. One of these at-home allergens is mould and the airborne spores it produces.
Mould is common within Australian homes and can be a regular trigger for allergy in those with sensitive airways. Mould produces microscopic airborne spores, some as small as 2 microns, which can spread in the air and can be inhaled into the airways to an allergic reaction.
One effective strategy is regular and thorough cleaning to minimise the chance of mould building up within the home. With regular cleaning, potential allergy flare-ups can be minimised or hopefully, avoided altogether.
Where fungus and mould grows
When spending time inside, especially in the cooler months, heating may be cranked up, windows are closed and perhaps there’s more baking or cooking occurring. All of which, create an ideal environment for spore production and growth.
Mould and fungus thrive in warm and humid areas so if extractor fans are not switched on and rooms like the kitchen or bathroom steam up, this can add further humidity in the home.
Simple home modifications
In addition to keeping a clean house, try the following easy tips:
- Open windows often to get fresh air in throughout the day.
- Ensure extractor fans work efficiently and are switched on especially when showering, bathing, cooking etc.
- Remove the source of the problem. Many people like to use bleach to clean the shower or bathroom, however this only decolours the mould and does not kill or remove it.
How to remove mould spores
Getting rid of mould can be easy if done correctly and regularly. Better still, you don’t need expensive cleaning products to remove it. With just a few common household products, these spores can be removed cheaply and effectively.
- Spray area with a mixture of white vinegar and tea tree oil. Then allow to dry for 30 mins.
- Then spray a warm solution of water and baking soda. Allow to dry for 30 mins.
- Finally scrub away mould with a brush soaked in hydrogen peroxide solution. Rinse off with water.
Whilst doing this kind of cleaning, use personal protective equipment such as a disposable filter mask and gloves.
When to call in the professionals!
If mould causes you to have a significant allergic reaction, find someone else to clean for you, such as another household member or a cleaner. If the mould covers a large area of the home i.e. over a metre square and is dense, find a local mould removal expert.
It is very important to talk to your health professional if a mould allergy is suspected. In addition to making some small changes within the home, there are many options that can help control and manage symptoms.