I know it is summer time and most of us are not thinking about mold, as it is warm and dry. But before we know it we will be back into cold and rainy season, so lets prep for mold right now. Molds are so widespread in nature that total avoidance is difficult if not impossible. There are, however, a number of precautions that you can to limit your encounters with outdoor molds and to curtail the growth of molds indoors.

Outdoor mold avoidance
Molds play an important role in the decomposition of organic matter, returning vital nutrients to the soil. Mold sensitive individuals should avoid contact with decomposing leaves, grasses and grains, including all dead and decaying vegetation, raking leaves, grain handling operations and contact with hay stacks and feed barns. A face mask should be worn when exposure to molds cannot be avoided.

Indoor mold suppression
Molds thrive in damp, humid indoor environments. Mildew, for example, is the common name for some of the more frequently encountered molds, which grow readily on a large array of common household items. These include shower stalls, draperies, wallpaper and its canvas backing, luggage, shoes, gloves and other leather goods or clothing that has been stored in damp closets with poor circulation. Another location includes the front loading washing machine.

Raw cotton and kapok, wool and manila hemp, which provide excellent substrate for mold growth are often used as stuffing for mattresses and upholstered furniture. Anyone who has left fruit or bread out for a week or so soon realizes that food are an ideal growth media for most mold. In fact, the common bread mold Monilia sitophila lives in many homes and bakeries, producing fine spores in abundance. Even living plants can become infected with parasitic fungi.

With care, mold growth can be substantially curtailed. Efforts should be put into creating one allergen free room, generally a bedroom where the mold sensitive person can spend as much time each day as possible. In general, house dust precautions will serve well to reduce indoor mold contact.

The allergen-free room... It is particularly important that covers made of vinyl or synthetic material be used on pillows and mattresses so that mold does not surface. Upholstered furniture, stuffed toys, carpeting, and wall hangings should be removed. Hardwood, vinyl or tile floors are suggested and they should be vacuumed frequently, preferably with a water filtered vacuum system. Air filtration devices can help. Dehumidifiers, fungicidal sprays and mold-resistant paint should be used in this room and throughout the house as well. A small electric light left on in closed closets will reduce humidity so mildew can't thrive.

In summary, mold sensitive individuals should:
• create one allergen-free room, ideally a bedroom
• cover pillows, mattresses, boxsprings with a sealed slipcover made of vinyl or synthetic material
• remove all upholstered furniture and stuffed toys from the allergen-free room
• replace carpet with hardwood vinyl or tile floors
• use air filtration devices
• vacuum on a daily basis
• use dehumidifiers, fungicidal sprays and mold resistant paint in damp areas of the entire house