When you stop to think about it, a third of your life will be spent in your bedroom, sleeping. Maybe more if you are the type of person who likes to read in bed or watch TV before falling asleep. This makes good sleep hygiene and sleep habits critical not only for the quality of your rest but also for your overall health.
Yet the bedroom can be one of the most problematic areas of a home, as you breathe in a higher volume of allergens and toxins over the number of hours you spend there. This can be compounded by chronic medical conditions, sleep apnea, and allergies. Not to mention the threat of mold spores in the air you breathe while sleeping.
Mold Spores Are Hazardous To Your Health
Mold spores exist everywhere in the natural world. They are microscopic and too small for the eye to see. Yet when they find a warm moist environment to exploit, they can germinate into an active colony in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Once this happens even a small active colony can disperse a high volume of new mold spores into the air.
These spores often carry mycotoxins with them, which are known respiratory irritants, and can even trigger chronic inflammation conditions in sensitive individuals. They can also cause people with respiratory allergies and asthma to have flareups, which can compound any other medical conditions.
So, it seems clear, that if you’re going to get a good night’s sleep and breathe well in your own home, you are going to need to prevent mold from ever getting a foothold in your bedroom.
What Causes Mold In A Bedroom?
A bedroom is different from a bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen where persistent humidity from steam encourages mold development. Instead, bedroom mold is often attributed to condensation and regular humidity caused by the local weather.
Moisture in the bedroom that settles in the recesses of a closet or on a wooden windowsill behind the blackout curtains can become an inviting home for a mold colony to thrive. You should check these areas and any other spots that have poor ventilation during a routine mold check of your bedroom.
What If I Find Mold In My Bedroom?
If your mold check turned up discolored splotches and the musty, earthy odors of an active mold colony, the first thing to do is nothing! A lot of times people attempt to clean up a mold problem with household cleaners that simply aren’t effective enough to kill mold down to its microscopic roots.
Instead, they end up disturbing the mold colony, causing it to spread even more dangerous spores into the air. Even if you do manage to kill a mold colony in your bedroom, the spores might simply spread to another room in the house where they can start a whole new mold infestation.
If you find mold in your bedroom, the best thing to do is call a mold remediation specialist. They can test your bedroom and other parts of your home to find all present mold colonies. They also have the equipment and cleaning products to eradicate mold down to its microscopic roots.
Once the presence of mold has been eradicated and all affected materials have been remediated or disposed of according to the environmental standards, you can get to work creating a mold-resistant bedroom.
How To Create A Mold-Resistant Bedroom
Hopefully, your bedroom mold check turned up no signs of an active mold colony, or perhaps there was a minor mold problem and you had it professionally remediated. The next step is then to create a mold-resistant bedroom that provides you with the best quality sleep as well as the peace of mind that comes from knowing your sleeping area is truly safe.
Creating a mold-resistant bedroom requires a multi-face approach. It typically takes more than just one minor change to prevent mold from exploiting condensation and humidity in a bedroom with poor air circulation.
Good airflow is a critical component of any mold prevention strategy. This starts with opening all the windows in your bedroom when you first get up in the morning and then leaving them open for at least 5 to 10 minutes. If the weather allows.
This will help to decrease the level of humidity, while also ensuring that fresh air replaces the stale air left behind by breathing all night long. Though this strategy only helps if the outside humidity is low and the temperatures are reasonable.
Use A Dehumidifier
If you live somewhere with very high outdoor humidity, or it simply isn’t feasible to open your windows to refresh the air, or you simply want to take your mold prevention strategy to the next level, then you need to use a dehumidifier. When placed in your bedroom, it extracts humidity that can turn into condensation from the air. You then pour out the collection bin every few days. This will go a long way toward robbing mold spores of the ambient moisture they need to germinate into an active mold colony in your bedroom.
Upgrade or Maintain Your Air Conditioner
An overtaxed air conditioning system is another common culprit for creating the kind of moisture mold spores need to germinate into a colony. When an air conditioner is pushed to the max, it tends to leave condensation in the system, including the vents.
Mold develops in these areas and then spreads through the ventilation system. When it finds a room with poor ventilation, like the bedroom, the spores can exploit any condensation or moisture they find.
Upgrading, updating, or properly maintaining your home’s air conditioning system will go a long way toward preventing the recurring spread of mold spores in your bedroom as well as the rest of the house.
Make Necessary Repairs
Simple things like a small leak in your roof, or a clogged gutter can let rainwater get into your house. It can then pool in the attic or the sub ceiling creating an ideal breeding ground for a mold colony. At the same time, any plumbing leaks in your adjacent master bathroom can also offer mold the moisture it needs to exacerbate to dangerous levels.
Making sure to take care of any plumbing and roof leaks as soon as you find them further robs mold spores of the moisture they need to develop into an active colony. This calls for making routine inspections of your roof line, peaking in your attic every few months, and checking the plumbing features throughout your home. Anytime you find a potential problem, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
While the bedroom might not be the first place to worry about a mold problem in your home, it’s certainly not a place you can ignore. If you find signs of an active mold problem in your bedroom, you need to act quickly to have it professionally remediated, as well as have the rest of your home tested for the presence of active mold colonies.
Even if you don’t find any mold in your bedroom, it’s wise to implement a conscientious mold prevention strategy. This involves improving airflow, dehumidifying to maintain low moisture levels, and making any necessary repairs to wet features the moment you discover a problem.