Ahhh, your mattress. The place you lay your head after a long day, curl up with a good book during inclement weather, or use it as a gathering space for the family to read a bedtime story. It is a place where we spend a lot of time and trust it to be a safe space within our home.
Mold and mildew are an intrusive invader that could take up residence in your mattress and can cause many adverse health symptoms if not dealt with to remediate the issue. It may be a location in your home that is overlooked or may have never ever crossed your mind.
Mold differs from mildew in growth and color; however, they are closely related. Mildew refers to certain kinds of fungus or mold – it is an early stage of mold. It usually grows in a flat pattern and can be a whitish/grey color that lies on the surface. Mold is usually black, white or green with a ‘fuzzier’ type of fungus growth that can multiply to a larger area quickly and spores can become airborne to grow in other locations as well as negatively affecting your indoor air quality. Both mold and mildew growths or colonies can start to grow on damp surfaces with 24 to 48 hours. They both grow on organic matter such as wood products, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets drywall, fabric, insulation, and ceiling tiles. They both thrive in a dark, damp, and moist environment.
Some typical symptoms reported from mold exposure include:
- Respiratory problems – wheezing, asthma attacks, etc.
- Nasal and sinus congestion or dry, hacking cough
- Eye irritation – burning, watery, redness
- Nose or throat irritation – sneezing fits, bloody noses
- Skin irritations – rashes or hives
- Nervous system – headaches, memory loss, mood changes aches and pains
Steps to take to ensure your mattress is free from mold growth:
- Change linens regularly
- Use a breathable mattress cover
- Do a routine visual inspection of the top, side, and underside of the mattress
- Keep moisture down by not placing wet towels and clothing on the mattress
- Do not lay on a mattress with wet hair and make sure to dry body after pool or shower
- Flip mattress on a regular basis
- Keep good ventilation and airflow around the mattress especially on the underside
- Use a dehumidifier to take moisture from the air
- Use an air purifier to help with air quality and to keep the air clean
- Keep mattress off the floor
Depending on the mattress type and condition, a general guideline for the lifespan of a mattress is between 7 to 10 years. Making the investment is no small cost so taking the preventative measures above can help to protect it and keep it mold free which in turn will help you to live out the life of your mattress and to maintain good indoor air quality while preventing any adverse health risks due to mold and mildew growth.
At Coastal Air Assessments, we work our way from the outside in, first identifying potential issues at the exterior of the home that could be causing poor air quality inside the home. Our Mold Assessments and Air Sampling Tests are timely, accurate, and a true asset for Florida homeowners. We’ll provide a detailed indoor air quality assessment that will get to the root of a potential mold issue and identify sensible solutions so that you and your family can breathe a little easier. Contact us today for your free consultation.