Mould outbreaks around the home is a very common issue in Australia. Especially with the recent torrential rain along the east coast. But not only is mould unsightly and let’s be honest - disgusting, it also wreaks havoc on our health and can cause major damage to our homes.
A thriving environment for mould consists of poor ventilation and lots of moisture.
With winter fast setting in, now is the time to conduct a thorough inspection of your home to identify and remove any mould.
WHAT IS MOULD AND HOW DOES IT GROW?
Mould is a type of fungi that naturally occurs in damp or poorly ventilated areas. Mould spores are virtually everywhere in the air, all they need to find is the right surface to germinate on.
Mould can grow in and on materials such as food, furniture, fabrics, carpets, walls, paper, timber and plumbing. The key to their growth is having a moisture source (their food) and very little light.
Mould from water damage
Often water damage can lead to major outbreaks. When there is a water leak in a property there are likely visual signs of mould growth and water damage at the actual source of the leak.
Mould from condensation
Mould can also thrive when there is no explicit water leak. Different humidity levels on surfaces can cause condensation on windows, mirrors, and on internal and external walls. Coupled with poor ventilation, this creates the perfect environment for mould to grow.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOUSEHOLD MOULD
There are thousands of species of mould, with some capable of causing serious harm to our health or damage to our homes.
- Trichoderma: often found on damp carpet and wallpaper. The danger of this mould is that it produces mycotoxins that can cause respiratory issues, skin irritations or even depression. Many people are allergic to trichoderma mould.
- Alternaria: usually found outdoors but can grow in sinks or on or around leaky pies. This mould can easily spread and can cause allergic respiratory and skin reactions.
- Stachybotrys Chartarum: also referred to as “black mould” and can be identified by its slimy black appearance and musty odour. It causes similar health issues to trichoderma.
Ulocladium: requires a lot of water to grow so it is often found on damaged water pipes, wet walls, and in homes that have been heavily damaged by floods.
Common Mould in and around the home
CAN MOULD MAKE YOU SICK?
Mould produces allergens and toxic substances that can damage your health. Spores in the air increase the particles in an indoor environment which therefore reduces the quality of the air you breathe in. You can experience an allergic reaction from inhaling or touching mould.
Common symptoms from exposure are itchy eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing and coughing. Mould can also cause asthma attacks.
Like anything, your pre-existing health will determine how you react to mould. Those that already have severe allergies will likely experience harsh symptoms.
In the instance where someone is immunocompromised, mould can cause them to become really unwell and experience extreme pulmonary problems.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REMOVE AND KILL MOULD?
If you have decided to remove mould, make sure you take extra precaution to ensure you don’t put your health at risk. Make sure there is good ventilation by opening doors and windows to allow constant airflow, and wear protective clothing, such as a shower cap, gloves, eye protection, overalls and a mask.
There are some people who should not remove mould or be present when it is removed, including pregnant women, children and those with weakened immune systems.
If you are allergic or sensitive to mould, you may develop some symptoms of irritation. If you are asthmatic and intend to do the clean up work then keep your asthma medication close by and if you show any signs of asthma then stop and get some fresh air. Or even better, consult a doctor before you undertake anything of this nature.
STEPS FOR MOULD REMOVAL AT HOME
1: Remove the source of moisture
If you remove mould without finding the catalyst of what’s causing it in the first place, then it is likely that the problem will reoccur. You need to identify where the moisture is coming from and then take the necessary steps to remove or repair this.
Check for signs of water leakage from the ceiling or plumbing. If repairs are required to damaged pipes or drains then it is best to call a plumber.
2: Remove the mould and clean affected areas
There will be some items (mattresses, cardboard) that are unable to be cleaned and so these should be disposed of. All soft fabrics, such as bedding and clothing should be washed on a hot cycle.
It is important that you do not dry brush the mouldy area as this will flick the spores into the air where they can be breathed in. If you intend to vacuum the mould then ensure you are using a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. A HEPA filter is a type of filter that can trap large amounts of very small particles, which other vacuum cleaners would simply put back into the air.
Our Mould Destroyer is an excellent pre-paint and surface cleaner that is suitable for all interior and exterior surfaces around the home.
Mould Destroyer has a low toxic formula but is highly effective at killing the bacteria from mould and mildew. It is important for us to suggest solutions that are free from nasty chemicals, especially for families with young children and pets.
It requires a very simple application process. Just simply spray, brush or wipe it on the affected area and leave it overnight to work its magic! Most of the elimination is done as the solution sits, then all you need to do is come back and rinse or brush your surface.
Now if you’re ready to go one step further by taking extra precautions to prevent mould and mildew in the future then Mould Defence is calling your name.
Mould Defence is a mould inhibitor that can be added to paint, oils or stains. It stops the growth of mould by forming an enduring film that locks out moisture. It will not change the look or feel of the surface it is applied to.
It is recommended that Mould Defence is used in high moisture areas such as bathrooms, laundries and kitchens, however, for peace of mind it can be used throughout your whole house.
If you are ready to get stuck in to keep your home safe and your family healthy then check out Mould Destroyer and Mould Defence on our online store.
If you’re highly sensitive to mould or don’t have the time to remove it, then get in touch and we can point you in the direction of professional mould removal services.
REMOVE MOULD TODAY!
As you now know, mould in or around the home can be hazardous for our health. With a wet start to 2022, it will be important to keep our living environments as dry and as clean as possible to avoid nasty mould growth this winter.
With the right product and precautions, thankfully removing mould is simple!
Need more help? Visit us in-store or book in for a free consult for any further information or support.