Indoor air quality is not a factor that we commonly think about when it comes to ensuring a safe and healthy home.
And it’s not surprising, too.
After all, it’s not something we can see, like the germ-filled grime lurking in your kitchen.
In reality, though, the quality of the air we breathe is as essential as food sanitation. There are a lot of substances that can pollute indoor air.
One of the most common and dangerous remains to be mold spores. If you wish to learn how to get rid of mold spores in the air, you’ve come to the right place.
- How Do Mold Spores Enter the Home?
- What Happens If You Breathe in Mold Spores?
- How Long Do Mold Spores Stay in the Air?
- How to Get Rid of Mold Spores in the Air
- How to Get Rid of a Mold Infestation for Good
How Do Mold Spores Enter the Home?
It is not uncommon to find mold at home.
Any space exposed to moisture often is sure to have a bit of mold growth.
Mold can thrive anywhere from your home’s ceilings (caused by roof leaks) to underneath your floors (caused by flooding).
Our homes are also filled with materials that hold water well, including paper, cardboard, wood, fabric, and carpets, just to name a few.
So, how did those spores end up inside your home when they weren’t there the day before?
First, it can be challenging to determine whether there wasn’t any mold activity there, to begin with.
Mold spores are really tiny that they can’t be seen through the naked eye.
Second, if there really wasn’t any mold activity there originally, mold spores can easily enter your home through the air via open doors and windows.
They can even attach themselves to your clothing or your pet’s fur.
What Happens If You Breathe in Mold Spores?
Mold infestation can negatively impact our health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the presence of mold can lead to allergies, respiratory diseases, and even memory loss.
These reactions depend on the type of mold present and the person’s length of exposure.
People with compromised immune systems or those already suffering from breathing problems (like asthma) are particularly at risk.
There are a few studies that point out what can possibly happen.
A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that mold exposure is associated with childhood asthma development.
The Institute of Medicine (US) concluded that inhaling mold particles can cause other health consequences beyond asthma.
These include respiratory tract disorders, skin infections, gastrointestinal tract issues, lethargy, and even neuropsychiatric problems.
These are just some of the reasons why it’s important that you learn how to get mold spores out of the air.
What Should I Do if I Inhale Mold Spores?
While prevention is ideal, there are times when mold inhalation simply cannot be avoided, especially if it took you quite a while to discover mold presence.
Don’t worry, though; there are ways to remedy mold-related issues.
There are ways to treat the effects of mold inhalation.
At the very least, there are nasal rinses that can flush out any contaminants currently in your nasal passages.
More severe health issues can be treated medically.
A nasal rinse can flush out the presence of mold spores in your nasal passages.
Those already suffering from the physical symptoms can target the body’s reaction instead, such as taking antihistamines to deal with allergic reactions.
Still, we recommend seeking medical assistance if you’re anxious about a significant health impact.
This is especially true if you (or a family member) have a vulnerable immune system or are already suffering from a respiratory issue.
How Do You Get Rid of Mold Spores in Your Lungs?
Mold infection is referred to as aspergillosis, and there are different types.
One type is pulmonary aspergillosis, a respiratory issue caused by mold spores already growing inside the lung cavities.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, pulmonary aspergillosis can lead to more severe health issues.
It can cause tuberculosis or sarcoidosis if it doesn’t get treated immediately.
The best step is to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How Long Do Mold Spores Stay in the Air?
Those who wonder how long do mold spores stay in the air will be disappointed to learn that they can survive for quite a long time.
Mold spores can stay suspended in the air for a very long time. In fact, there were mold spores found inside the Egyptian pyramids.
National Geographic even published an article that mold might be responsible for the “King’s Tut Curse.”
To make matters worse, it is not enough to eliminate mold spores by killing mold itself.
Mold spores can remain dormant for years, just waiting for the right moment for the moisture it needs to wake up and grow.
Don’t need to wait for aspergillosis to happen before taking action.
You need to learn how to get rid of mold spores in the air immediately.
To get rid of mold from the air, you need to prevent and remove mold growth from its source.
How to Get Rid of Mold Spores in the Air
When trying to learn how to get mold spores out of the air, you’ll find two effective methods. You can either catch or release them.
We’re not suggesting you stop killing mold since the mold spores won’t go away anyway.
Not at all.
You need to stop the production of more mold spores first.
Once you have gotten rid of the source, you can then move on to eliminating the by-product (the spores).
Increasing the ventilation of the room helps to release them.
There are devices, like air movers and fans, that can hasten the process and give you more control over where you’re going to direct this contaminated air.
Ventilation and these machines will also allow fresher, cleaner air to enter the room, ultimately boosting your indoor air quality.
Getting an air purifier can help, but more severe mold infestation cases can be dealt with by seeking professional help.
Do Air Purifiers Get Rid of Mold Spores?
Aside from releasing mold spores back outside, another way on how to remove mold spores from the air is by using air purifiers.
Find one equipped with filters that can trap mold spores and other present airborne contaminants.
There are also more advanced features available, like UV light, which is known to kill biological particles like dust mites and mold spores.
We certainly recommend getting an air purifier that comes with one if you can.
Air purifier filters will lose their capacity over time as they catch more particles. Hence, they will eventually need to be replaced.
If you do opt to replace them, do so in a well-ventilated area.
You might also want to consider wearing an N-95 face mask if you believe you will be exposed to mold spores and other harmful airborne contaminants.
Doing this will prevent you from inhaling these particles.
The HEPA Filter
There is a type of filter you should definitely invest in, the HEPA filter.
It is a fabric mesh specifically designed to catch 99.97% of airborne contaminants.
This is thanks to its openings that only allow particles 0.3 microns in size to pass through.
Mold spore sizes range from four to 20 microns big, so a HEPA filter will undoubtedly catch even the smallest one.
Thanks to various quality control organizations, most air purifiers already come with a HEPA filter.
Reusing these filters is not recommended, but most of these units have replaceable ones.
The perfect time to replace air purifier filters depends on how contaminated the air is, along with the quality of the machine.
However, the general rule of thumb is to replace HEPA filters every six months.
We don’t recommend settling on a cheap air-purifying unit, even if it says it is equipped with a HEPA filter.
After all, the quality of the filter’s frame varies.
Remember that your HEPA frame must be airtight. Any gaps or holes will significantly impact your air purifier’s efficiency.
While a more expensive unit doesn’t mean it will have better quality, you are more likely to find a better one if you’re willing to invest in it.
It will also give you access to more features. For instance, there are HEPA filters equipped with an antimicrobial layer.
This means that the filter itself is coated with a chemical that can kill microbes and mold spores.
It will also keep mold spores from developing within your machine, which is possible with a low-quality one.
How to Get Rid of a Mold Infestation for Good
Mold growth is a problem that must never be underestimated.
Its consequences on you and your family’s health are detrimental and severe if left on its own.
Mold spores can cause allergic reactions, respiratory issues, and even neuropsychiatric problems.
Some molds are even toxic when inhaled or exposed to for a certain amount of time.
It’s not enough that you know how to remove mold spores from the air and out of your home. You have to take action.
First, you need to get rid of the mold. There are different methods on how to do so.
It is even possible to develop a DIY solution, especially for mild cases of mold infestation.
You can then deal with the airborne contaminants using the methods proposed earlier.
You can also get the services of a mold remediation company if you don’t have the required gear to deal with the issue yourself.