Mold Allergy Symptoms: Mildew Allergy
Are you experiencing the onset of nasal allergies or are your symptoms are showing up when your usual triggers are not present? If these symptoms show up while you are at home, the likely culprit could be mildew in your basement. Unlike your other allergies triggers, however, mildew can be more than just an inconvenience.
How Mildew Appears
Like other molds, mildew tends to form in dark, damp environments with little air flow which makes a basement the perfect environment for it to form. Mildew is particularly attracted to materials such as carpet or fabric so even if the basement is finished and used more frequently, it may still contain this allergen.
Mildew spores travel to surfaces through the air, attaching themselves to moist materials. These spores grow and reproduce as long as conditions remain the same. As the mold matures, it releases additional spores into the air which may travel to your nose or mouth and eventually be inhaled into the lungs.
Mildew Allergy Symptoms
If you suffer from mildew allergies, your symptoms will be very similar to pollen, dust, and other common allergies. These symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Depending on the type of mildew, symptoms can become more severe and include respiratory problems such as wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing. So for allergy sufferers that also have asthma, mildew is dangerous.
Risk factors for Mildew Allergies
If you already have other nasal allergies, especially to pollen or dust, there is a good chance you are allergic to mildew. Just as with other allergies, having a parent or other close relative with a Mildew Allergy will put you at risk as well. Asthma could also put you at a greater risk for this allergy since mildew and other molds affect respiratory functions.
Reducing Mildew in Your Basement
To reduce your symptoms, you need to find a way to remove mildew and prevent it from returning. The simplest way to clean up mildew is by using a 10 percent bleach solution. If you prefer to avoid bleach, there are a number of cleaners at your local grocery store that use milder chemicals. Some items will need to be replaced, especially if they have severe mildew build up or will be damaged by cleaning.
To keep the mildew away, place a dehumidifier in the basement to reduce moisture. Whenever weather allows, open windows to increase air circulation through the air. During the winter months, keep entrances to the rest of the house open to maintain as much air flow as possible. Finally, consider using a paint that contains a mildewcide ingredient to prevent the return of the mold on your basement walls.