The unwelcomed house residents: mold

Y’all’ve been there. Y’all all recognize it when walking into a house with it

That musty smell. The smell of molds.

Molds are living organisms. They float through the air and reproduce by means of tiny spores invisible to the eye. They thrive on dampness and moisture.

That moisture could be in or behind walls, in carpet or carpet pads, in unsuspected locations like basements or a corner in a room once saturated through a leak in a roof.

Molds can enter through doorways, windows, vents, heating/cooling systems, around leaks in windows, pipes, roofs.

They’re stubborn and versatile little devils too. Molds grow well on cardboard and paper products, ceiling tiles, wood, clothing, shoes, in paint, wallpaper, insulation drywall, fabrics such curtains and furniture.

Pretty much any place in the home is susceptible when conditions — namely dampness — for reproduction are right.

Why the heck am I writing about molds?!

My new place has ’em. They’re noticeable the minute you enter. That musty wet carpet wet dog smell.

Except there is no dog!

What there is is carpet. Worn rust-brown shag carpet through the front room and hallway, tan plush carpet — the nondescript sort typical in apartments — in the bedrooms. Only the kitchen and bathrooms have linoleum flooring.

The smell permeates, even with the front door open for circulation.

Unfortunately, molds are about more than an unpleasant even reeking odor. They carry health risks and danger, particularly to those with vulnerable or compromised respiratory issues.

They can trigger allergic reactions like runny nose, red eyes, sneezing, rashes; to a worser extent, breathing difficulties, asthmas attacks, bronchial and lung issues.

Molds aren’t to be ignored or endured. They’re to be eradicated.

Question is: How?

Ah, the $10 million question!

They’re umpteen suggestions, ways, products to remove and prevent mold in homes, depending on the situation.

In my case, as a renter of a room in another’s home, I can only do so much — or little. Ripping out the carpet and replacing with hardwood flooring throughout — not an option! haha

Yet here’s the rub.

My primary vulnerability is the lungs. Respiratory issues. Dating back to 1975 when I was hospitalized with pneumonia. Followed a decade later by severe bronchitis, from which I never recovered. Two interesting stories, those.

That’s not the point. Point is: the respiratory system is my greatest weakness and susceptibility to harm. In fact, I’ve not had a common cold for decades!! It goes straight into bronchitis! (or worse)

So.

My concern about the molds and more importantly how to deal with them or reduce them — since I can’t obviously eliminate them in another’s house — lost me half a night’s sleep. Rampant insomnia (again). At 4 a.m., I finally caved. “Can’t take another sleepless night! In the final stretch of a big move, can’t AFFORD one more night in of the mountain of sleepless nights!” Rolled outta bed to down a sleeping pill.

So.

Molds. Spent last night researching non-toxic and low-cost approaches to mold reduction. Whether they’ll work remains to be seen. But I have to try them while respecting this one key fact: It’s not my home, it’s his. And yes, the owner/roommate notices the smell too.

So hopefully he’l appreciate rather than knock me down for my initiative and effort to address a very real problem. A stinking problem. A problem risky to health — even to those without respiratory vulnerability.

I’ve lived in damp environments. The cost to my health and well-being were irreparable.

I’d be lying if I wrote that I’m unconcerned. La-de-da. Whatever. It’s just molds. {shrugs shoulders} Live and let live. Laissez faire is denial or laziness in disguise.

I took yesterday off to give the muscles much-needed rest and recovery from heavy lifting the day before. Today I’m back in the game. Today’s goal: Get everything but the barest minimum (i.e., teakettle!) out and into the next space.

So I best get on it! Perhaps with a respiratory mask! hahah {?} Adios.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The unwelcomed house residents: mold

  1. Ugh! Given that my previous apartment had this problem (stemming from water damage coming from the apartment above), I: can only sympathize. Hope you can find something to mitigate the problem!

    • @longeye – Ah yes, I recall your plight! Tracing the source(s) of musty odor is rather difficult when it’s pervasive and in absence of obvious water damage somewheres. Like a basset, I tried sniffing it out the other day. *Seems* primarily in the center/living room area.

      Then it occurred to me yesterday during a load drop-off! The dryer was on — and it sits adjacent to living room in a room with no door! Warm air flow feeding any molds harbored in old shag carpet. Early stage of my detective work admittedly but have identified a key suspect! 🙂

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