Of course, you've heard about toxic black mold where the only way to get rid of the problem is to, literally, burn the place down. But here's something you probably didn't know. All mold, even non-toxic shower mold, can make you sick. In fact, non-toxic mold is more likely to make you sick, because it's so common.
According to Prevention magazine, any mold can cause rashes, headaches, dizziness, nausea, allergies, asthma attacks, and serious lung infections. And mold grows anywhere there's moisture even if you can't see it. In fact, if your house smells musty, you've got mold growing somewhere. So, here's how to protect yourself:
- First, most mold spores are released during hot, humid weather. So, try keeping your windows closed, and dry out the air, by running the air conditioner or a dehumidifier.
- Then, turn on an exhaust fan, or open a nearby window, when you shower, do the dishes, or cook. All those activities produce water vapor.
- If you find mold growing in small patches on tiles, walls or windowsills, it's safe for you to clean that area.
- But limit your exposure by wearing goggles and rubber gloves. Then, scrub the mold away with a brush and a diluted bleach solution, like Tilex.
- If you find a lot of mold, or if your house smells musty, hire a pro. You'll need special blowers and filters to clean the air. Otherwise, if you punch though a moldy wall, or peel off moldy wallpaper, you'll inhale enough mold spores to get really sick, even if you're not allergic.
- And once you're done cleaning up the mold, vacuum every surface with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, so you don't blast mold spores back into the air. Even dead mold spores can cause sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and asthma attacks.