Mould is a common household issue that not only affects the aesthetics of your home but also poses significant health risks.
But what is mould? Mould is a tiny microscopic organism related to fungus that grows in organic materials like wood, plaster and paper when damp and moist.
What causes mould?
Mould needs damp conditions with moisture and oxygen to grow. There are many sources of dampness; here are the three most common:
Condensation occurs when warm air cools down without proper ventilation. After activities like showering or bathing, if the warm air can’t escape through windows and doors, it will come into contact with cold surfaces like walls and ceilings, which leads to water droplets forming and mould growing. Ensuring there is good ventilation will prevent mould from growing altogether.
Rising damp happens when water from the ground moves up the walls. It usually occurs when there is a missing or faulty damp-proof barrier in the walls. This will lead to wet areas on the lower parts of the walls. The extra moisture in the wall then provides a good surface for mould to grow.
Penetrating damp occurs when water enters your house through outdoor sources like roof, wall or plumbing leaks. This type of dampness can result in wet spots on the inside walls, and this continuous moisture supply will cause mould to form. This often happens in homes with cracks or damaged joints. To prevent any more damage, it’s recommended to apply a protective coat on the outside walls to prevent this.
Health risks of household mould
Mould can rapidly become a problem in homes and form large dark patches on walls and ceilings, posing various health risks, so staying on top of mould prevention and removal is essential. Here’s a list of potential health issues with dampness and mould.
When mould microorganisms multiply, they produce substances that can trigger skin irritations and contribute to conditions like dermatitis. If there is prolonged exposure to damp and mouldy conditions, individuals will experience redness, itching and discomfort.
Mould heightens the risk of fungal infections by releasing spores that can cause respiratory issues like sinusitis and bronchitis. With constant exposure, severe fungal infections can form, especially for those with weakened immune systems.
Mould is an allergen, and mould can increase allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes and nasal congestion.
Toxic Mould syndrome:
This is a severe consequence of mould exposure linked to inhaling the mycotoxins produced by certain moulds. These toxins can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and cognitive difficulties and over time, these can lead to chronic health problems.
Mould will have a worse effect on certain groups of people compared to others, such as:
- Elderly people
- Infants & Children
- People with skin issues such as eczema
- People with respiratory issues such as allergies and asthma
- People with a weakened immune system, such as those going through chemotherapy
How to treat mould
So, now you know what mould is, why it occurs, and the health issues related to prolonged exposure. Let’s dive into how to treat mould effectively.
Whether you’re looking for how to get rid of mould in your bedroom or how to clean mould off your walls, we recommend the following mould removal techniques for specific rooms in your home.
Getting rid of mould in your bathroom requires regular maintenance and targeted cleaning. Ensure you open windows for proper ventilation, then wear protective gloves when using a specialised mould cleaner and a sponge to wipe away mould from tiles, grout, walls and shower curtains. Make sure to clean and dry bath mats regularly and fix leaks promptly to prevent mould from growing again.
Mould in the bedroom can hide in spots covered by furniture, making proper ventilation crucial. Use a specific mould cleaner or a mix of mild detergent and water for cleaning. For painted walls, opt for specialised cleaners. Wipe surfaces with a sponge or microfibre cloth to capture spores. After removal, consider using a dehumidifier, and ensure you regularly wash bedding, curtains, and upholstery with hot water or fabric sanitiser to prevent mould recurrence.
Combatting kitchen mould involves fixing leaks and thorough cleaning. Wear protective rubber gloves and use a kitchen-specific mould cleaner on hard surfaces like countertops and tiles. Regularly inspect and clean rubber seals on appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers, which are common mould breeding grounds. Additionally, clean the drip tray beneath the fridge to keep the kitchen mould-free.
How to prevent mould
You need to maintain moisture levels and a clean environment to stop mould from returning. Here are some effective ways to keep mould at bay.
Ensure your home has proper ventilation, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. You can use exhaust fans, opening windows, and dehumidifiers.
Address leaks promptly
Fix any leaks and ensure you regularly inspect these areas to prevent any more.
Keep air moisture to a minimum
To keep moisture to a minimum, dry any condensation that may be gathering on walls and ceilings.
Ensure proper drainage
Maintain appropriate drainage around your home by cleaning gutters regularly and using downspout extensions to direct water away from the foundation.
Tackle household mould today!
In summary, tackling mould in your home is a vital step for the health of your household. In this blog, we have explored health risks associated with mould exposure and how to treat and prevent it, which we hope has been helpful.
As you strive for a mould-free home, remember to keep safety in mind by wearing PPE, staying vigilant, and not touching the mould with your bare hands.