Winston-Salem, NC - May 29th, 2015
Even though allergens find their way into our homes and noses year round, May is Asthma Awareness Month and aims to inform the country about the different ways our homes and environments can cause or trigger asthma and general allergy symptoms. Asthma is a chronic affliction that affects over 25 million Americans and is characterized by swollen airways that can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
Asthma triggers may include…
– Seasonal allergies (tree, weed and flower pollen)
– Homebound allergies (animal dander, molds, and cockroach droppings)
– Tobacco smoke, air pollution or strong odors
– Exercise and lung exertion
– Emotional anxiety and stress
– Exposure to cold, dry air and other weather changes
Controlling exposure to these triggers may be difficult so, for those affected, an inhaler or other prescribed asthma medication should always be at an arm’s reach. While tree pollen and outdoor environment allergens are almost impossible to avoid, the most controllable asthma and allergy triggers can be found in the home environment – mold and mildew being the most important. Mold and mildew are easily grown in damp areas and can often flourish on unseen surfaces. They emit spores, or seeds, in order to reproduce. These spores are the allergens that can trigger allergy or asthma attacks and cause human airways to tighten and constrict.
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine conducted a study and found sufficient evidence that linked indoor mold exposure to upper respiratory problems in otherwise healthy adults and children. The Center for Disease Control also reports that other recent studies have found a potential link between early mold exposure in children and the development of asthma later on in adolescence.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there are many different ways to control indoor molds. They recommend first repairing and sealing any leaking roofs, pipes, basements, and crawlspaces. Using a dehumidifier in chronically damp places like bathrooms and basements will also remove moisture from the air. The AAAAI also advises homeowners to refrain from carpeting concrete and damp floors as moisture and organic materials, such as carpet, are perfect breeding grounds for molds and mildews. Luckily, if you plan on finishing your basement, there are the waterproof floor and wall products that are made for that environment. These products are inorganic, actively combat mold growth and resist water damage.
It is also wise to keep from storing items in damp areas. Cardboard boxes, wood, leather, paper and fabrics can quickly accumulate mold and permanently ruin the affected belongings. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is another organization that aims to educate and aid those who are affected by allergies and asthma. This group of scientists and professionals explain that mold and fungi allergies are quite common and includes the recommendation to promote water drainage away from the home and take measures to decrease humidity levels.
Controlling moisture is much easier than it sounds if the right steps are taken to waterproof and dehumidify your home. Mold doesn’t stand a chance if moisture is taken out of the equation! Keep you and your family healthy this allergy season and take the crucial first steps to improving your indoor air quality. Tar Heel Basement Systems urges homeowners to have moisture and humidity levels tested in their home. A basement or crawl space with high humidity/moisture levels is breeding ground for mold and mildew growth. Protect your family, protect your home, with your trusted mold prevention experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems.