Mould is becoming a frequent household issue. It can be caused by a number of things including poor ventilation, water leakage, and moisture in the air which results in condensation. Everyday things that involve moisture such as showering, cleaning, cooking can cause that damp feeling in the air, leading to condensation and eventually mould. Did you know even fish tanks and indoor plants can contribute to the moisture that lives in the air?
Mould has its own purpose in the world, OUTSIDE, by breaking down old or dead organic matter. But when it decides to grow inside our properties it releases spores into the air, which can eventually get into our lungs if we breathe them in.
When left ignored, mould can cause allergies and nasty respiratory problems, so it is vital to well ventilate your home and be aware of any potential problems. Mould can be a pain to get rid of once it starts to grow and multiply, so it is best to be aware of prevention methods before it spreads throughout your property and causes a much bigger problem.
Are there different kinds of mould?
Yes! There are different types of mould that grow in many colours such as green, black, white, red, and even blue! Some types of mould are more harmful to our health than others, and depending on the circumstance, one particular strain can grow in an array of colours. Unfortunately having mould in multiple colours can make it difficult for the untrained eye to identify exactly what type of mould it is – which means you don’t really know how harmful it could be. It is always best to eradicate any type of mould before it spreads, though the most common types of mould that can grow within your home are the green and black varieties.
Green mould is part of the aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillium families, and is mostly found growing on walls, in cabinets and carpets and on damp fabrics, mattresses and soft furnishings.
Penicillium has the potential to cause sinus infections and inflammation of the lungs, whereas other types of green mould can cause bronchitis and sometimes even pneumonia.
Any type of mould has the potential to be harmful to our health, but black mould is the worst in terms of potential health issues. Most black moulds are quite common and often come from the same strain as green mould. They can be dealt with using normal treatment methods, and are not to be a cause of major concern. However, there is a particularly harmful type of black mould known as ‘toxic black mould’ or ‘stachybotrys’, which can cause much more serious results on your health.
Toxic black mould
Stachybotrys, or otherwise known as “toxic black mould”, is harmful in the home because it produces mycotoxins. You can’t see mycotoxins with the naked eye, but they can enter the human body through inhalation, ingestion and even through your eyes. These mycotoxins are very dangerous and can cause problems with vision, the circulatory and respiratory systems, skin, reproductive system and can even have psychological and neurological effects.
If you are experiencing any of these signs of mould illness and cannot identify the cause, it is pivotal for the sake of your health to check your house for telltale signs of black mould.
Other health symptoms that could be from toxic mould illness
If you suspect you are suffering from mould illness, other possible symptoms to look out for are:
- difficulty breathing
- bleeding gums
- nose bleeds
- cold and flu symptoms
- vomiting blood
- wounds that won’t heal
- blurred vision
There is also evidence to suggest that mycotoxins can be carcinogenic, which can lead to possible growth of cancers.
How do I know if its toxic black mould and how do I treat it?
Toxic black mould and the less harmful general black mould look very similar, which means for the untrained it is hard to determine. Toxic black mould is often found in and around very moist damp areas and is particularly problematic in areas where pipes have sprung leaks and are hidden from view, such as inside walls or in floors and ceilings. A good telltale sign of a problem is a warped wall or peeling patches of paint, as they are key indicators of internal dampness.
If you discover an area of mould in your home that suspect may be toxic, the only way to properly identify it is to call a professional mould assessor such as Mould Pro.
If you have a toxic mould problem, then you need to seek professional mould remediation in order to ensure that your home is a safe environment for you and your family. If you find a cluster of toxic mould, it is very important that you do not disturb it. Touching or moving the mould can cause an enormous amount of harmful spores to be released in the air.
Once your mould problem has been rectified it is important to prevent the recurrence. A properly ventilated home is the main way we can prevent future mould growth. Here are a few tips:
- Always turn on bathroom extraction fans when showering
- Always turn on rangehood extraction fans when cooking
- Duct your clothes dryer through an outside wall in order for the hot moist air to escape
- Open windows and doors as much as possible to let air flow
- Wipe up wet spillages as soon as possible
- Turn on fans or air conditioning when you mop your floors
- Hang clothes to dry outside
- Move around your indoor pot plants regularly
- Never leave wet or soiled clothes in a laundry hamper for longer than 12 hours
- Do not leave wet clothes sitting in the washing machine
- Keep your roof and gutters well maintained and check regularly
If you do discover a mould problem, don’t delay, give Mould Pro a call and our team will assist you to get your home back to health as soon as possible.