For many Americans, autumn means chillier temps and changing leaves. But for Texans, there are still plenty of sunny, temperate days in the 70s to enjoy. Sure, you need to dress in layers to insulate against the morning chill yet avoid sweating like crazy by midday. But otherwise, autumn in Texas is a welcome relief from the blazing heat of summer. Except, that is, if you are a seasonal allergy sufferer.
Autumn is a rough time for people with allergies in Texas. Ragweed grows out of control, with the pollen count typically peaking in October. The level of mold spores in the air tends to spike as well due to dampness left behind from summer rains and flooding. And as nighttime temperatures begin to dip and we start to run the heat at night, those bothersome allergens just circulate through our homes over and over again.
So how can Texans deal with autumn allergies? Of course, a doctor-recommended allergy medication really helps. Keeping a portable kit of tissues, eye drops, and water will also make life a bit more comfortable. But there are additional things you can do to actually reduce the allergens in your home and thereby relieve the worst of the symptoms.
Stick with us to learn important strategies for wiping out the two most tenacious allergen attackers in Texas – pollen and mold – so you can breathe easy all autumn long.
The Attacker: Pollen
The Battle Plan: Intensive Cleaning
Pollen is made up of tiny grains that represent the male fertilizing agent of flowering weeds, grasses, trees, and plants. Pollen floats on air currents and when it lands on a compatible plant, it sparks germination. Unfortunately, the system relies on the production of a LOT of pollen which wafts through the air and lands on everything, not just the plants that need it.
To fight pollen in your environment, you’ll need to dust and vacuum your space regularly with tools that effectively retain the pollen rather than simply send it airborne again.
In terms of dusting, products made with wool or microfiber can be great for this. An extendable handle on your duster, especially one that bends, is also really helpful for reaching door frames and ceiling fan blades without having to put your face anywhere near them.
When choosing a vacuum, look for one that contains a HEPA certified air filter. This type of filter is the best at trapping tiny particulate matter like pollen, rather than letting it get back out into the air. And though bagless vacuums are very popular and convenient, they do release a significant amount of debris upon emptying. A bagged model is less likely to do this.
And finally, to really wipe out that pollen, schedule an air duct cleaning. Pollen flows freely throughout these ducts, but it also settles in there. Every few years, have the entire duct system scraped out by a reputable company.
The Attacker: Mold
The Battle Plan: Mold Remediation
Texas has experienced record-breaking rainfall in recent years, and as a result, existing drainage infrastructure has been seriously overtaxed. Mold spores exist everywhere in nature, but standing water is a recipe for vast proliferation that can make allergy sufferers seriously uncomfortable.
Once moisture penetrates your home, you can expect mold to begin growing. If the source of water is constant, this mold proliferates unchecked and the spores circulate through the home’s air ducts, spreading to new locations. The best strategy for dealing with mold is to hire a team of mold experts to locate and remove troublesome colonies.
September tends to be the wettest month in the gulf communities, but even in northern Dallas mold removal may be necessary. The process can range from intense cleaning to removal of contaminated drywall, baseboards, crown molding, or flooring. For that reason, it is important to keep an eye out for visible signs of mold in the home – the sooner it is spotted, the easier and less costly it is to remove. However, mold remediation should always be done by experts for thoroughness and peace of mind.
The good news is that all types of mold are remediated in the same fashion, so it’s usually not necessary to test it. Only spring for the testing if you know that excess moisture is present yet can’t see visible mold spores, and are experiencing allergy symptoms that don’t respond to other intensive cleaning processes.
Pollen and mold are two of the most challenging allergens for seasonal allergy sufferers, and they both spike in the autumn months in Texas. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to overwhelm all the other great things about life in the Lone Star state. Whether you need Dallas mold removal or Houston air duct cleaning, rest assured that you can find competent professionals in your area. With frequent cleanings that utilize the right tools, combined with help from reliable professionals, your allergies will no longer outstrip your medication. So enjoy your sunny autumn months, Texas!