Mold is a common childhood allergen, and molds are present almost anywhere. Outside, they can be found in soil, rotting wood, or vegetation, such as wet leaves or mulch, outdoor vinyl furniture, outdoor cushions, patios, and boat canvas. Inside, molds are found in bathrooms, bedrooms, refrigerators, garages, attics, garbage containers, carpets, damp wallpaper, rotting wood floors, and upholstery.
In his book Breathe Right Now, Laurence A. Smolley, MD, a Florida-based pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, explains that preventing molds means finding ways to provide good ventilation, light, dryness, and cleanliness for your home. In this book, Smolley suggests the following important measures to stop the growth of mold and mildew:
- Change your home or office air filter at least every other month, or consider changing to a HEPA air filter to improve air quality.
- Keep your kitchen and bathroom surfaces dry. Use diluted (5%) bleach and a small amount of detergent, if necessary, to remove any mildew in musty areas.
- Fix any leaky pipes or cracks and crevices to avoid water leakage in the home.
- Get rid of indoor plants and other sources of mildew.
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