Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath. Symptoms of COVID-19? Not this time. Mold, a common form of fungi often attributed to warm damp environments, can also cause all these same symptoms. It can also be especially severe for those who suffer from asthma or any form of an immuno-compromising condition too. As our own local wet season begins to drop in like the rain, residents of Humboldt need to keep particular eyes out for the locations around them most susceptible to this mold growth. Just two years ago I had to experience this struggle myself, tearing through wall after wall to access the source of my home’s mold problem, a problem that could have been avoided more simply and more cheaply through proper preparation and knowledge.
First and foremost, INVEST IN A DEHUMIDIFIER! This will be an absolute lifesaver stopping the mold from getting airborne. By filtering any mold or moisture out of the air, dehumidifiers not only protect you from inhaling the dangerous substance but also prevents the airborne mold from seeping into the walls, flooring, and ceiling, three locations you absolutely don’t want the mold ever getting into. The size of the room you put the device in will largely determine the size you’ll want your dehumidifier– the larger the room, the larger the dehumidifier. The level of moisture in said room will also determine how often you should check and change the filters on them. Usually, every 2 to 3 weeks is the best bet. Obviously you do not need to leave the device on 24/7, but a couple times a day during particularly wet days is what many find works best. Thankfully, the average price for a decently sized dehumidifier runs 30 to 60 dollars making it, in my personal opinion, a Humboldt home staple.
Secondly, if you can, obtain some mattress and pillow protectors. These should fully zip over and around your mattresses and pillows much like a crinkly cover. These protectors not only protect your bedding from rips and stains but also from accumulating moisture that could encourage mold growth within them, generally increasing the longevity of your mattresses and its plethora of soft and fluffy assortments. You can purchase these extremely easily at any usual general store in the county (i.e Walmart, Target, etc). Both can be bought as cheaply as 10 dollars for the pillow projectors and 25 dollars for the mattresses protectors, respectively. As always, however, don’t allow this to make you slack on your responsibility to still routinely wash your uncovered bedding as well! Without this due diligence the protectors’ job becomes close to obsolete.
Lastly, a change of daily and weekly habits is necessary. Additional habits to take up include the opening of doors and windows to let air flow through the rooms during the few warm and sunny days, and weekly to biweekly checks of dark areas and corners around the house that could be breeding grounds for mold infestations. Commonly overlooked places include behind posters, around the edges of wooden furniture, under rugs, and the ceiling itself. For deterring mold growth in the offensively damp bathroom, I highly recommend keeping a fan next to the door inside the room during this rainy season. After every hot shower, take the time to turn said fan for a reasonable period of time. Don’t worry too much, though! Many of these little annoyances can soon be forgotten again once the drier seasons decide to shine their warm glow upon us again!