If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you certainly want to rid your home of any elements that can trigger an attack. While you can easily get rid of causes like plant pollen and pet dander, because you can see them, dust mites and mould may be challenging to eliminate. Dust mites are only visible under a microscope, and mould often hides in places where you don't look. Here are some tips for checking out less common places to find dust mite and mould, so you can be free of these health problems.
Dust mites live on epidermal remains--little flakes of skin that your body sheds naturally every day Because you spend so much time in your bed, washing bedding in very hot water and covering mattresses and pillows with dust mite protection are common suggestions for eliminating these mites.
There are other places, however, where dust mites can lurk that you might not think of. When cleaning your home, be sure to vacuum and wipe the following areas:
- the tops and pleats of curtains, drapes, and other window treatments, especially those made of fabric
- baseboards and crown mouldings
- under and between appliances
- HVAC ducts (may require periodic professional cleaning)
If you have pets, don't forget that they shed skin too. Wash all your pet bedding the way you would your own, and give your pets regular baths whenever possible. Many pets have reactions to dust mites just like humans do, so you'll be doing your animals a favor in the process.
If you rid your home of other allergy and asthma sources but you're still convinced something in the home is causing attacks, the cause could be mould. There are numerous different types of mould, and many can cause respiratory symptoms.
Often mould is found in more insidious places that you don't normally see day to day or clean regularly. These include
- under the kitchen or bathroom sink or behind the cabinets or vanity
- basement foundation
- bottom of indoor plant containers or soil
- behind and under dishwasher or washing machine
- edges of windows
- leaky or improperly ventilated attic or roof
There is also snow mould that lives on plants outside and causes symptoms as the snow melts before hot weather takes over in the summer.
To help deal with these issues, you can try some of these solutions:
- Hire a cleaning service to thoroughly clean your home on a regular basis. This will allow you to get into places you may not be able to reach yourself. Small spots of mould can be killed with a bleach and vinegar solution, and problem areas can be wiped clean of moisture to prevent regrowth.
- Employ a garden service to clean up your yard in the fall, so there are fewer surfaces for mold to cling to in the spring under the snow.
- Wear an N-95 respirator, long sleeves, and gloves when cleaning any mouldy areas yourself.
- Hire a mould abatement specialist to inspect and clean your home of any mould. Additional information can be found here.