Is Mold Ruining the Air Quality in Your Home or Office?

Mold Affects Indoor Air Quality

As building biologists, we take mold very seriously. The air quality of a home or office cannot be ideal if there is mold present. Just the other day in an office with PTAC units (the type of AC unit you see in hotel rooms), we asked the maintenance person to remove the cover, and…YIKES! The units had not been cleaned in quite some time and there was quite a bit of mold. Of course no one would see the mold since it was covered, but it was most definitely affecting the office air quality.

No one should have to breathe that kind of mold accumulation. If you have allergies, sinus problems, respiratory illnesses, or headaches, exposure to the mold could make you miserable. Or worse, if you are sensitive to mold, it could be causing major illness.

Why Is It Harmful to Air Quality?

Mold is highly toxic to humans. It releases mycotoxins (chemicals the mold releases to defend its territory) and mold volatile organic compounds/MVOCs (gases released by actively growing mold) so it packs a double whammy. Mold looks awful. But it’s not just sitting there looking bad — it is a living organism that is actively spreading toxins. And you are breathing them.

Where Do We Find Mold Growing?

Mold grows anywhere there is moisture: showers, front-loading washing machines, inside walls, inside HVAC systems, closets, etc. And, as a side note, if you have a pet who has ever urinated on your carpet, there is a high possibility mold is growing underneath the spot where the accident occurred.

OK, I Have Mold. Now What?

Don’t worry — it’s pretty common, but you can (and should!) do a few things to minimize your exposure and your risk.

  • Be sure to keep the moisture low in your home or office. Fix a leak immediately (mold starts growing in 24–48 hours), and clean up excess water.
  • Monitor indoor humidity. It should be between 40% and 60%, anything higher is contributing to mold growth. A properly functioning air conditioning system should be removing humidity so these levels are attained.
  • Clean it up. Safely. As for cleaning up the mold, please do not use bleach. It is highly toxic and spreads mold spores. Use these natural cleaners:
    • Tea tree oil mixed with water in a spray bottle.
    • Food grade hydrogen peroxide mixed with water in a spray bottle (this is our preference but take note — if it gets on your hands it may cause white spots but its harmless and goes away quickly)
    • Borax and water paste. Spread it on and leave overnight; then rinse in the morning.

Vital Spaces wants you to have healthy air quality in both your home and office.

Join Us for a Shaklee Reset

shaklee1On a different note, want to do a little holiday prep to ensure the season is better enjoyed? Join us for a Shaklee Reset November 7–11. A reset will help you jump start weight loss, overcome cravings, and balance & regulate your hormones. It can also realign your true appetite, boost metabolism, enhance digestion, bring radiance to eyes and skin and increases focus, clarity, and energy. Need we say more?

A simple Reset can be done with only Shaklee’s Life Shake and a multi vitamin but if you want to make it a true cleanse, these products are recommended:

Click here to order products by October 30 at and email us at for more information and recipes as well as to be included in the Facebook support group.

Have a Happy Fall!

Get a Clean Home without Bleach

I’m loving my Shaklee cleaning products so much! They are way more affordable than the standard non-toxic cleaning products. They even help me get a clean home without bleach. You heard me right, Shaklee cleaning products are better than chlorine bleach. I get to enjoy a clean home and I don’t have to deal with chemical scents!

But I’m about to tell you a secret. I had a stain on white ceramic tile. And scrubbing with my Basic H2 all-purpose cleaner wasn’t cutting it. Even undiluted.

Wait a Minute…Isn’t This About Getting a Clean Home Without Bleach?

It doesn’t make sense, but I broke out the bleach. Yes, I hate to admit there was a small amount of bleach in the garage. But I’m going to blame that on my husband (hopefully he won’t read this). I should have known not to look, but I was determined in that very moment to get that spot removed.

Let me go on a quick rant, folks. Bleach does have its place. But that is some dangerous stuff! You don’t want it in your home. In fact, the CDC has a helpful page that explains how dangerous chlorine (the active ingredient in bleach) can be. Please be careful using bleach!

So want to know what happened? I got a headache and the spot was still there. Even just that small amount of exposure to bleach led to a headache that lasted for the rest of the day. I knew better — we all slip from time to time. But then I got smart again and mixed a paste with my Shaklee dish detergent and baking soda. And guess what… Yep you got it! The stain is gone!

Ok, I got it now. Lesson learned. No more bleach. I’m sticking with what really works: Shaklee and all-natural products. Considering the health benefits, value and effectiveness, they really are better than bleach, folks.