Sneeze, sneeze, repeat. Allergy season is upon us. People who suffer from allergies are very aware of the unbearable symptoms they encounter this time of year. The good news is, your home can be a safe place where you can be free of allergy symptoms. It’s important to be aware of what your allergies are. Then, recognize the common culprits in your home that aggravate your allergies and finally clear your home of all these allergens.
Do You Have Allergies?
If you already know you have allergies, scroll down to see our home cleaning tips! Many people are not aware that they have allergies. Classic signs of allergies include:
- Itchy or runny nose
- Watery itchy red eyes
- Postnasal drip
- The allergic salute (rubbing your nose up and down violently)
- A nose crease (a line caused across the nose by the salute)
- Allergy shiners (bags under the eyes)
Many people who have allergies also experience eczema or asthma. If you realize you only get symptoms of allergies around springtime, it most likely means you have hay fever. Those with hay fever are allergic to pollen, grass, and trees. If you think you suffer from allergies, speak to a medical professional and take an allergy test. For people who suffer from intense food allergies, an allergy test could save their life!
Your home is an environment where you can control the allergens around you. The biggest allergens in the home include:
- Dust Mites
- Bugs (cockroaches)
- Dander from pets
- Spores from indoor and outdoor mold or fungi
Freeing Your Home of Allergens
It is important to remember to wear gloves and a mask when cleaning allergens. If possible, ask someone without allergies in your home to complete these cleaning tasks.
Get Rid of Dust Mites
Replace Air Filters – When dirty, air filters increase the amount of dust in your home.
Don’t Use Dusters – Dust with a wet rag instead of a duster, this traps allergens instead of pushing them into the air.
Vacuum Often – Vacuuming is much more effective than washing carpets, because it removes the dust mites.
Clean Linens- Wash sheets and towels weekly with fragrance-free detergent. Fragrances aggravate allergic reactions.
Declutter- The fewer items you have out, the easier it will be to counteract dust.
Keep Windows Closed- Open windows will only add to the dirt and dust in your home.
Of all bugs, cockroaches are one of the worst for allergies because of the feces they leave behind. Keeping your home free of bugs will reduce allergens and keep the air cleaner in your home. Here are some tips for keeping your home bug free:
Clean- Clean out old food, wipe down eating areas, mop floors. Clean the window frames, and under the bed, these areas are where the most dead bugs can be found.
Spray- Use a bug-killing powder, like Raid, to fumigate your home. Make sure you read the instructions carefully. Be careful, many bug killers are also poisonous to humans and pets.
Hire Pest Control- Use an exterior home design app, like Fairmarket, to hire a local pest control company to take care of bugs, or prevent bugs from coming into your home. They are experts on pests and customize their services to your needs. On the Fairmarket app, you will find trustworthy and fairly priced pest control companies based on an honest rating and bidding system.
Dander from Pets
Dander from pets adds to the amount of dust and allergens in the air of your home. If you have a pet who constantly sheds, here are some tips….
Zones– Keep your pets in one area of the house away from the areas you spend the most time.
Vacuum- Vacuuming is an excellent way to keep reduce the amount of fur in the air.
Grooming- Getting your animals groomed is a helpful way to keep shedding down. If you find grooming is overpriced, a cheaper way is to buy shedding brushes that help pull the dog or cats shedding hair out.
Bathing – During allergy season, bathe your pet frequently. Their fur can trap allergens and bring them into your home.
Many people have moldy bathrooms and are not even aware of it. If you can visually see mold in your bathroom that means it is already a problem. Mold grows in dark places, then comes to the surface. If you see what appears to be dirt on your walls or tiles, that is most likely black mold. If your tiles or walls appear damaged, this is another sign that mold is destroying it from the interior. Watch for bugs and a musty smell in your bathroom or kitchen, these are additional signs of mold.
Here are some ways to avoid and remove mold:
Clean- Clean your bathroom tiles and shower weekly. Wash or wipe your shower curtains at least twice a month, or more if needed. Mold on shower curtains and bathroom rugs are extremely common.
Dry- Keep your bathroom dry by making sure nothing is leaking. Clean up water on the ground after a shower with a towel.
Lighting- Make sure your bathroom is well lit. Mold thrives in the darkness.
Air -Invest in a fan or for your bathroom to circulated (this is to prevent mold, but is not recommended if you already have mold because it will circulate the spores into the air). You can also invest in a dehumidifier for areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms which will help remove excess moisture to help keep mold from spreading.
Mold Crisis- If you have a mold infestation underneath your tile, you need to hire a team to come in and remove the tile so the mold can be removed. Cleaning above the tile will not resolve this problem. This is a serious health hazard for everyone, especially those with mold allergies.
Choose Materials Carefully- It is important to be aware of the materials in your kitchen and bathroom. Mold loves wood paneling. Be wary of putting wood paneling in any dark places in your home. Use an interior and exterior home maintenence app to help you pick the best materials and contractors to renovate your home. Make sure you have quality grout and sealer over your tiles, this is the best way to avoid major mold growth. Remember, mold can lurk in secret places.
Fix Water Leaks- Have routine plumbing inspections. Make sure that you do not have leaks, and when you do, fix them as soon as possible. You can easily hire a plumber on Fairmarket.
With these tips, your home will be free of the common culprits of allergens in the home. Happy healthy living! No more sneezing, stuffy sinuses, and suffering at your home. Now your home can be your sanctuary from this spring season!