What conditions in the home are best for mould growth?
Keeping mould from growing in your home is really important for the health of you and your family. The first step in keeping mould under control in your home is discovering what areas and conditions are best for mould growth. Mould spores thrive and multiply in moist wet conditions. How does mould grow? Mould grows easily when moisture and humidity are present. Mould spores search for a damp surface in your home so that they can begin to grow and thrive.
What does mould need to Grow? Mould spores need three things in order to grow and multiply. That being nutrients, moisture and time. Mould can start to grow on a surface in the right conditions in as little as 24 hours.
How can I prevent mould growth in my house?
Mould spores are everywhere. They are carried by air currents throughout your home. They look for a moist dark environment where they settle and multiply. In order to prevent mould growth in your home is to maintain your home in order to keep out excess moisture. This includes having your roof checked regularly for leaks, have plumbing maintained and drying any spills, leaks or flooding that may occur.
It is recommended that home humidity levels are kept to to 30-50% to prevent mould growth. Mould also grows efficiently in warmer more humid climates, and blossoms at 25 to 30 °C. Condensation on or around windows can be an indication that your home’s moisture levels are too high. Two ways a homeowner can decrease the humidity in the home is by increasing ventilation and buying a dehumidifier.
To increase your home’s ventilation, be sure to use correctly vented exhaust fans while in the kitchen and bathroom, to reduce the moisture in the air. Assure that ventilation throughout your home is adequate to keep up with moisture levels, consider sub-floor and roof ventilations as well as high quality bathroom and laundry ventilation systems. If your home is still struggling with higher than advisable humidity levels, consider buying a dehumidifier to maintain a optimum levels of humidity resistant to mould growth. Make sure you purchase a dehumidifier that will cover the square footage necessary for your residence.
Attending to moisture leaks in your home
If your home has water leaks, it is likely that mould will follow. Leaks can occur in pipes, roofs, appliances and windows. Because leaks are usually undetectable behind a wall or in the ceiling, leaks can have the advantage of time to release water into your home continuously. This constant influx of water can increase mould growth considerably. To look for leaks in your home, be on the lookout for –
- water stains
- warping or bowing of walls and architraves
- deterioration of wood
- bubbling or cracking paint or wallpaper
- Symptoms of mould sickness in your family
Flooding and other water damage
Flooding is a serious risk factor for mould growth. When excessive amounts of water enter a building and remain for a period of time, mould will begin to develop in as little as 24 hours. Therefore prompt action is needed in the event of a flood to prevent or reduce mould damage in your home.
You may wish to hire a professional to restore your home after a flood. This is a very good option because a professional water damage specialist has the credentials and equipment to deal with flood and water damage in a home most flood damage specialists will even deal with your insurance for you.
What is stachybotrys chartarum?
Stachybotrys chartarum is a toxic mold/fungi that commonly grows in homes and buildings and can cause “sick building syndrome,” this is medical condition where people develop symptoms of illness that go away or improve when they are not in the building that contains the mould issue. Stachybotrys chartarum is greenish-black in colour and can be slimy to the touch. This harmful mould likes to grow on high-cellulose material such as dry wall, carpet, wall paper, fiberboard, ceiling tiles, thermal insulation, etc therefore it is commonly found growing indoors. Some other common moulds that grow indoors are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. Indoor moulds grow when there is water damage, too much moisture or humidity, water leaks, or flooding.
Where does mould grow best?
The kitchen and bathroom are often places in your home that mould likes to grow. The humidity from baths, showers, cooking, and washing dishes is often higher in these rooms. Kitchens and bathrooms usually have more plumbing than other areas of your home which could develop leaks within the walls. If you have a roof leak, the ceiling could be harbouring mould. It is important to check for leaks in these areas, monitor the humidity, set up proper ventilation and dry up any condensation that develops. Be sure to also check for mould in air conditioning and heating ducts, washing machines, dishwashers, and in the shower and bathtub.
What are the symptoms of indoor mould exposure?
Sometimes you can’t see mould because it is within a wall or in the ceiling cavity. However, if you’ve been experiencing some of these symptoms that improve when you are no longer in the home, you may want to have your house checked by a mould professional.
- skin rash
- eye irritation
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- runny or stuffy nose
You should talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and consider having your home tested by a mould expert.
Preventing mould Indoors
Prevention is better than cure and it It is always better to take action to prevent mould through keeping your home in the right conditions rather than dealing with an expensive and unhealthy mould issue in the future. The right ventilation systems and performing routine maintenance can save a lot of money by avoiding mould contamination in the long run. The following six steps will significantly reduce your risk of mould or other issues in the home.
- Monitor indoor humidity
- Clean and repair roof gutters
- Dry wet materials quickly
- Fix leaks
- Increase ventilation
- Have your roof checked regularly
So, how do we prevent mould growing in our house? The key is to reduce the conditions that are best for mould growth. What does mould need to grow? Nutrients, moisture, and time If you control the moisture, clean up and dry water damage, and reduce the time water or moisture is allowed to remain (within 24 hours), mould will have less of a chance to take up residence in your home.
Do you think you may have a mould problem? Give us a call at Mould Pro and we will be happy to assess your home for mould today.