Combatting Fungus and Mold in Humid Climates

Residents of Florida know that the humidity can be brutal. Some seasons are damper than others, but humidity hits hard statewide. Learning to combat fungus and mold in these conditions is an important aspect of owning or renting a home.

Mold thrives in warm, damp conditions — almost year-round climate in Ocala. Fungal infections like jock itch and athlete's foot are more likely to develop in humid climates as well. This guide will help you prepare for the worst by protecting your home from mold growth keeping your family fungus-free.

Stopping Mold Before It Starts

In order to stop mold in its tracks, you must be able to identify signs of mold and understand the harm it does to you and your family members. Mold spores grow quickly and can almost never be completely eradicated. If you notice a lingering mildew smell or experience the following mold allergy symptoms, it’s probably time for a mold check.

10 Common Mold Allergy Symptoms:

  1. Irritated Eyes
  2. Watery eyes
  3. Sneezing
  4. Runny or stuffy nose
  5. Coughing and postnasal drip
  6. Itchy nose and throat
  7. Nasal congestion
  8. Dry, scaly skin
  9. Wheezing
  10. Frequent headaches

Some of the most common places where mold grows can be the basement or in shower stalls (especially on the curtains). Unfortunately, in humid climates mold can be found just about anywhere, inside or outside. If you find mold spores, scrub them away as soon as possible and be sure to wear a mask. Clean the mold with a bleach solution and dish soap and water. Do not combine the bleach with any other cleaning products. This can create fumes that are toxic to inhale.

Be proactive with tips to prevent mold growth before it starts:

  • Keep roof gutters clean and repair them quickly when necessary
  • Avoid laying carpet in rooms where moisture retains easily like bathrooms or basements
  • Clean with mold-killing products in high-risk areas
  • Be sure the drip pan under your air conditioning unit is always clean
  • Maximize airflow in rooms
  • Clean spills or leaks right away
  • Try to maintain an inside humidity of 30-60 percent
  • Turn on exhaust fans when you shower or cook, run the dishwasher or dryer
  • Use mold inhibitors to paint before painting walls
  • If possible, build your house with its foundation slightly downhill to prevent water accumulation near the base of the house

Most homeowners or renters who discover mold growth already understand that they have a huge problem on their hands. Mold growth gets out of hand fast and creates toxic living conditions. Rather than dealing with spores that won’t go away or keep coming back, invest in prevention and live your life in humid conditions mold-free.

Preventing Fungal Infections

Fungus growth is another unpleasant possibility when you live in a humid place. Whether it’s athlete’s foot, dandruff, ringworm, or jock itch — finding the right diagnosis and treatment for a fungal infection can be expensive and frustrating. Anyone can develop these conditions, especially in climates where moist, warm areas of our bodies have a harder time keeping dry.

There are a few different ways to address treating these conditions. Whether you prefer natural remedies, over-the-counter products, or something stronger from a dermatologist, there are varying treatment options to try accordingly. 

Natural Remedies

Depending on which fungal infection you are dealing with, there are several natural home remedies/wives tails worth trying. Garlic, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil are known to treat ringworm. Garlic can also naturally treat athlete's foot, but tea tree oil, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide with iodine are other known natural cures for athlete's foot.

Over-the-counter Products

Over-the-counter products are generally pretty affordable and there are dozens of different brands and types. There are loads of antifungal medication brands that make over-the-counter products for mild fungal infections and skin conditions. Be sure to consult your doctor before determining if an over-the-counter treatment is right for you. Some of the best-voted foot fungus creams include terbinafine, clotrimazole, miconazole, and tolnaftate. Miconazole, clotrimazole, and terbinafine creams can be used to treat ringworm too.

Prescription

Over-the-counter products and natural remedies can cure mild fungal infections and skin conditions but more serious fungal infections usually call for a prescription antifungal medication. Stronger creams and washes contain anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and ingredients to mitigate swelling and redness while killing the infection. Oxiconazole Nitrate is a common prescription-grade antifungal cream prescribed to treat fungal infections of the skin.

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When it comes to mold or fungus growth, prevention is always the best line of defense. Luckily, there are store bought tests to find hidden mold if you suspect growth somewhere. There are also companies that can inspect your house or apartment if you’d rather leave it to the pros.

On the other hand, fungal infections are quite common and doctors and dermatologists have gotten better at treating them quickly. Whether it’s your body that needs protecting or your home, these tips will help you stay on top of fungus growth before it starts.

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Awesome Outings in Autumn (10/17/2018)
The End of Summer Last Hurrah List (09/12/2018)
Enjoy Cooler Weather at Marion County's Fall Festival (09/06/2018)
New 12 Screen Movie Theatre in the Works for Ocala (08/17/2018)
Ice Cream, You Scream (08/06/2018)
'Kroger' Grocery Chain Moving into Florida (08/03/2018)

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