You know how it feels outdoors–high humidity can make hot days unbearable, sticky, and drive you into air conditioned places. In Southern California, we are more likely to brag about our “dry heat,” but up north cool, foggy weather is very common. Both hot and cold damp days make it easier for mold and dust mites to thrive indoors, leading to allergy symptoms and even asthma for those with sensitivities.
How does high humidity encourage dust mites and mold?
This video from the IAQ Video Network lays it out very well:
Mold spores are everywhere, just waiting for the right conditions to grow and thrive.
What does mold need to grow?
Mold only needs three elements to take hold:
That’s it! No wonder a leak or some unfortunate condensation can cause a mold problem indoors.
What about dust mites?
Dust mites are also ubiquitous and live on dead skin cells and pet dander–unavoidable in an inhabited residence. Dust mites don’t drink, but they do need water and do well in a humid environment.
What can you do to discourage dust mites and mold?
Fix leaks promptly
Replace any porous materials damaged by water
Run bathroom fans during and after showers until steam and humidity has been vented outdoors
Use a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity low
Wash bedding in hot water and dry in a hot dryer weekly
We can’t do much about the outside humidity–it depends on the climate where we live. But high humidity indoors is more controllable and worth the effort, especially if you or someone in your family is affected by allergies or asthma. If you develop a mold problem or want to tackle dust mites, Seacliff can help. Call us for a consultation!
Now that winter has finally arrived, even in Southern California, those of us with allergies and sensitivities to winter triggers are in for our more difficult time of year. Dust mite allergies are one of the most common and worsen in the winter.
What are Dust Mites?
“House dust mites are microscope bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets. Dust mites are generally harmless to most people. They don’t carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces. People sometimes confuse dustmites with bed bugs.” Environment, Health, and Safety Online
Unlike bed bugs, dust mites live everywhere. They are in your bed, in your couch, your recliner, your pillows. The idea of dust mites can be pretty disturbing.
Dust mites and what they leave behind are one of the most common allergens and can be found in all climates. Allergy symptoms can be worse in winter because the contaminants that trigger them are trapped indoors. The symptoms of dust mite allergies include:
Sneezing, especially on waking up or 10 or more times
Here are some of our tips for reducing dust mite allergies:
Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
Wash bed linens and pajamas in hot water to kill mites
Keep carpets and rugs out of bedrooms
Use dust mite barrier covers on pillows and mattresses
If someone in your family has dust mite allergies, it might be time to treat your home with heat to kill them before sealing up the house for the winter. ThermaPureHeat kills dust mites and the heat process is accompanied by HEPA vacuuming and air scrubbers to remove any airborne and dust residing allergens.