Break the Mold: Natural Solutions for Toxic Household Mold

Armed with a little knowledge and a few common-sense tips, you can beat dangerous household mold.

  • Keep your house and family healthy—prevent toxic mold from growing in your home.

Though it’s often green and certainly “all-natural,” easy-growing mold can negatively affect your and your family’s well-being, especially if you are chronically exposed to it in your home. Mold comes in a rainbow of colors, and you can recognize it by its earthy, musty smell. Symptoms of mold exposure range from mild stuffiness to asthma and depression. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to eliminate mold and keep it from growing in your home.

Why and where mold grows 

Mold requires food, water and habitat. Eliminate these necessities to prevent mold.

Food. Mold needs nutrients to grow. Nutrients are natural materials, not inert materials such as metal. For example, it is unlikely mold would grow on condensation on a porcelain toilet, but once condensation drips to the wooden floor, mold growth is likely.
Fix-it list: Sources of mold nutrition include damp wood, paper, carpet, textiles, plastics, skin oils, carpentry materials such as wallboard, and food such as vegetables and grains.

Water. Mold thrives in water. Fix leaks, use dehumidifiers and eliminate condensation sources. For damp basements, consider a floor seal such as B-Dry.
Fix-it list: Sources of moisture include leaky pipes, damp basements, floods, houseplants, humidity, condensation, leaks, poor ventilation, damp clothes, refrigerators and spills.

Habitat. Mold spores reproduce and thrive in high humidity from 40 to 130 degrees.
Fix-it list: Consider buying a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels. Maintain 30 to 55 percent humidity to deter mold growth.

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The best and least expensive basement ventilation system on the market is Breeze. It replaces a dehumidifier and costs about $12 per year (continuous use) to run. It expels moist, toxic air (and Radon) from the basement and replaces it with dry, fresh air from the home’s living quarters. Other systems (like Humidex, EZ Breathe, Wave Ventilation) sell for over $1,500 and work on the same principle. The Breeze does the same thing and costs only $299. Check it out at Ebay, or Amazon.

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