Mold spores can come in when the doors or windows are opened, and on clothing and shoes. The indoor spore count can also vary because of changes in humidity and outside spore counts. However, when we get calls from tenants, it is often because they have an unidentified problem that is not from the outdoors. The following tips are intended to help you maintain your indoor air. If you have visible mold or have addressed these items and still have allergy symptoms, we can take air, tape or carpet dust samples to help identify the source of your problem.
The HVAC system should contain a filter with a minimum of a MERV 8 rating to capture spores that enter from any source. Consider the use of room sized air purifiers capable of capturing particulate down to one micron if the HVAC system is not accessible or does not contain a MERV 8 or higher filter.
The use of a dehumidifier to maintain the humidity below fifty percent should be considered. Dehumidifiers can be arranged to drain automatically so they do not have to be manually emptied.
All carpets and upholstered furniture should be regularly vacuumed with a HEPA filter vacuum to remove spores that have settled out from the air. A vacuum without a HEPA filter will merely draw spores and particulate from the surface and broadcast them throughout the room.
Hard surfaces should be wiped periodically with a mild fungicide, such as now contained in many dusting products, to remove any latent spores before they can find a suitable place to grow.
Soft goods, such as bedding and clothing, can be washed to remove spores. Avoid storing dirty clothes for extended periods, as they can be the source of both bacteria and spore growth.
Report any leaks, flooding, or other events that result in excess moisture and take immediate steps to minimize the period when materials are wet. Mold growth and damage can often be avoided or minimized if a wetted area is thoroughly dried within twenty-four hours of the occurrence.
If you still have odors or health symptoms, Air Allergen and Mold Testing can sample the air and help identify whether mold or other particulate is a likely source of your discomfort and provide information helpful to you and your landlord to remediate problems and maintain healthy indoor air.