First, we get the flooding, which is what many Australians are experiencing along the East Coast right now, along with Tasmania and Victoria being confronted with some of the worst floods in over 50 years. Then as sure as day becomes night, the ‘mould’ sets in.
We are experiencing extreme weather outcomes worldwide, which tests us in every way. So, mould is a by-product of moisture finding a home on your belongings. It only takes 48 hours for this to occur. People will notice that they begin to feel ill after a few days of rain and flooding, mould is just one of the courses.
The environment is threatened by moisture. To top it off when we get these flooding events, we also have trees falling down, because of the wind and soggy conditions. Then we lose electricity/power, which makes it even more difficult to maintain a dry environment.
Mould is like the unwelcomed party reveller, who arrives at your function and just takes over. This party reveller corrupts other guests, and before you know it everyone else at your function is feeling the effects of your reveller.
When we notice the conditions leading up to a ‘wet weather event’, we act. That action involves several key implementations that help us to get through so that our health is not under threat.
Here on the Sunshine Coast, I’ve been running several dehumidifiers in various rooms, which is proving to be very successful at protecting our linen, books, paper, and clothing.
We have experienced floods before! I recall a very violent storm/cyclone that occurred on the eve of 27th February 2000. This storm became a cyclone, named ‘Steve’.
Tropical! cyclone! Steve crossed the coast of Cairns Northern Beaches around 7 pm on an already wet Sunday. I remember walking around our property in Kuranda looking up at the trees and thinking, with a sinking feeling that it wasn’t going to be an easy run.
Winds measured at 230km east-northeast of Cairns. The Cairns Airport reported the cyclone’s lowest pressure at MSL pressure 991 (not in the eye). Wind gusts at 77 knots at around 6.45 pm and 6.50 pm.
Many buildings in Cairns suffered from water damage including the Cairns Base Hospital. Powerlines were down throughout the district with more than 40,000 homes being without power, ours in Kuranda was one of them. Sadly a 17-year-old youth drowned in a flooded stream south of Cairns the day after the cyclone made landfall. Kuranda, my old town located on the Atherton Tableland, suffered high wind damage. Hundreds of trees were uprooted.
Our house was one of twelve homes where the trees had actually fallen on them, piercing through the roof and allowing further rain to penetrate once-dry environments. They say that the damage collectively in the Kuranda area exceeded well over 20 million dollars. The whole shebang was an awful experience. There was trauma from the damage to our home, our lungs were under pressure from the mould spores that now were partying at an accelerated pitch, there was the added stress of the mess and what was ahead of us. The list goes on.
So, floods, extra moisture, high humidity all equal the environment for mould party/event.
What can you do If you find yourself in a similar situation?
For starters, you can make sure you have a dehumidifier, or some sort of device to keep dark cupboards dry and slightly warmer.
- Dampp Chasers are clever devices that you can plug in and keep running especially during wet periods.
- Cleaning the area with On Guard Cleaning concentrate or Spray away (mould killer/cleaner) to name a few.
- Running a fan during rain periods in lounge rooms, keeping outdoor cushions out of the wet areas and drying with a dehumidifier.
- Diffusing On Guard Essential Oil blend, Easy Air, Cardamom, Lemon, Lavender, and Clove alternatively. Change up the scents to provide more uplifting aromas.
- Keep the floors dry and clean.
- Keep stored linen and towels in dry cupboards, that have either a Dampp Chaser installed or adequate dry sacks that absorb moisture. Keep an eye on these environments, as mould is sneaky and gets into all corners in closed cupboards!
- Inhale deeply in fresh dry air environments and keep your body fit.
- Check Leather shoes and Belts in your wardrobe because they often set off mould in your wardrobe. You can clean them with Spray Away or On Guard Essential oil.
- Avoid mucus-forming foods during wet spells, so that your lungs have a chance to recuperate.
- Air out cupboards during dry times, and discard anything with Black mould on it.
- In relation to ‘Black mould’, do not try to salvage it, the risk is not worth it. Throw it out and let it go!
- Utilise a Mini Fogging Kit - read more..
- Separate clothing hanging in wardrobes to give adequate ventilation between hanging garments. Good opportunity to clean out the wardrobe!
For anyone experiencing emotional stress or trauma during wet periods because of a previous flooding experience or cyclone damage like us, know that I completely understand, and you will need to keep your mental health happy. Watch comedies and engage in light-hearted activity. Don’t put pressure on yourselves for anything other than keeping healthy and engaged with meaningful activity.
Walk in the rain to get exercise or dance in the lounge room to your favourite music. Keep active, optimistic, and dry as possible. You will get through the wet seasons, and embrace the sunshine when it returns again.