Tag Basement

Winter More Brutal for Asthma and Allergy Sufferers

Winter More Brutal for Asthma and Allergy Sufferers.

As the winter months drag on, cabin fever sets in for many people. However, being cooped up inside is even harder for people suffering from asthma and allergies because more time indoors means greater exposure to indoor allergens. Although mold, pet dander and dust mites are often blamed for sneezing and itchy eyes this time of year, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that winter pests such as cockroaches and rodents can also be common asthma and allergy triggers.

To read more, click on the link above.

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Tips for Tackling Winter Allergy Triggers

Tips for Tackling Winter Allergy Triggers.

Miller and Reisacher offered the following tips to help allergy sufferers through the winter:

  1. Turn on the exhaust fan when showering or cooking to remove excess humidity and odors from your home, and clean your carpets with a HEPA vacuum to decrease dust mites and pet allergen levels. Mopping your floors is also a good idea.
  2. Wash your hands often, especially after playing with pets and when coming home from public places.
  3. Wash your bed linens and pajamas in hot water (above 130 degrees) to kill dust mites.
  4. Consider your bedroom the allergy “safe haven” of your home. Keep pets, carpets, rugs and plants out of your bedroom to avoid dust mites and mold from decaying plants. It is a good idea to place an allergenic barrier around your pillows and mattress to create a barrier between dust mites and your nose.
  5. Before putting up your Christmas tree, spray it with a garden hose and remove all dust from your holiday decorations.
  6. Install high-efficiency furnace filters. They capture 30 times more allergens. Also make sure your furnace fan is always on.
  7. Keep your indoor humidity level between 30 percent and 40 percent — using a humidifier or dehumidifier — to prevent mold growth. Change humidifier water and filters according to manufacturer recommendations to avoid mold and bacteria contamination.
  8. Survey your house indoors and outdoors monthly to look for visible mold, and identify areas that are at high risk for mold formation. Examples include a pile of firewood close to the house or an area of the basement with a musty smell.

To read more, please click on the link above.

10 Tips to Minimize Mold Exposure

mold-spores

Molds can cause health problems. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks in sensitive people. Mold exposure may irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs.  (CDC)

Molds are fungi that can be found both outdoors and indoors. They grow best in warm, damp and humid conditions. If you have damp or wet spots in your house, you will probably get mold.

  1. If a water leak is the source of your problem, have it fixed first. If the leak is in your roof hire a roofing contractor to repair the leak. If the leak is from a water pipe, toilet, bathtub or shower, hire a plumber to repair the leak. If the leak has caused substantial water damage or mold you will want to hire a contractor who specializes in mold remediation and water damage repairs. After repairing the water leak, dry out the area completely.
  2. A dirt floor in a crawl space should be covered with plastic (vapor barrier) to prevent moisture from the soil increasing humidity levels in your home. If there is standing water or the soil is wet, dry it out with fans before covering the floor.
  3. Use ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Check to make sure ventilation fans venting directly outside. In some cases the vent fan may have been installed to vent into the attic or become disconnected or blocked.
  4. Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  5. Ask a heating and cooling contractor to check your heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity.
  6. If your basement has a dirt floor, cover the floor completely with plastic to slow down water vapor coming through the soil.
  7. Use ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Check to make sure ventilation fans venting directly outside. In some cases the vent fan may have been installed to vent into the attic or become disconnected or blocked.
  8. Your clothes dryer should be vented directly to the outside. Inspect the vent duct. Make sure it is attached securely to the dryer. Check that it is clear of obstructions (e.g. lint). Check for holes that leak air. If vent duct is damaged replace it with a metal duct. The vent duct should be cleaned at least once a year. The Consumer Products Safety Commission additional safety tips for dryer vents .
  9. Ask a heating and cooling contractor to check your heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity. If you system is too big or the airflow incorrect your air conditioner will not remove humidity like it should. Also, ask the contractor to check your duct system for air leaks, and proper size and air flow to each room. To help you find a contractor, please refer to our recommendations.
  10. During hot humid months, using a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce condensation on the walls. This may work better after you’ve sealed air and duct leaks to reduce the amount of humid outdoor air you are bringing into the basement.

Happy Cleaning. Call us if your allergy symptoms still bother you.