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How Does Mould Affect Health

How Does Mould Affect Health

If you have recently discovered patches of mould growing on the walls or ceilings of your home, it is important to act quickly to remove it and prevent it coming back. Aside from being unpleasant to look at, some household moulds can be harmful to your health and cause problems for people with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Where does mould come from

Moulds grow from spores that are carried in the air. These spores are microscopically small and are easily spread into your home on clothing and air from outdoors. Unless the mould spores reach an environment that is friendly for their growth, they will not start to grow, and will simply form part of the dust that you clean away.

If mould spores land on persistently damp surfaces, such as bathroom walls and ceilings, it can settle and have all the nutrients that it needs to grow.

Mould patches can grow quickly from a small starting point, and the black or dark green patches are easy to spot. You will often find mould starting to grow in the corners where the walls meet the ceilings because there is less natural airflow.

Mould needs a damp surface to thrive, and in many homes, the source of this dampness is condensation. Over time, without good ventilation, condensation can soak into walls and ceilings and create the perfect environment for damp to grow.

The health risks of mould

As mould patches grow and mature, they release spores to spread into other areas. If these spores are inhaled, they can cause an allergic reaction, and irritate your airways. For people with respiratory conditions such as asthma, the allergic reaction from inhaling mould spores can be serious.

Some species of mould release chemicals called mycotoxins into the air. Toxic Black Mould, also known as Stachybotrys Chartarum, is an all to common site in homes, and inhaling the mycotoxins it releases can cause considerable damage to health. Stachybotrys Chartarum can be dangerous, even for healthy people, and if you find it in your home, the mould needs to be professionally removed.

Getting rid of mould

Most mould patches can be cleaned away. Your local supermarket will sell special fungicidal cleaners, but you can also make your own by diluting one part of bleach with four parts of warm water. Spray the mixture onto the affected area and use a soft cloth to wipe away the mould from the surface. You should wear eye protection and a face mask when cleaning mould to prevent inhalation of any spores. Once you have cleaned the mould, you should throw away the cloth that you have used and clean your clothes separately from other items to prevent contamination.

If you are worried that you have toxic black mould, do not attempt to clean it yourself. The chemicals it releases can be dangerous to your health!

Preventing mould

Cleaning mould is a temporary solution, and for as long as there is an environment for it to grow, it will return. To prevent mould growing back, you will need to address the cause of damp or condensation in your home. In the case of condensation, improved ventilation in wet rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens will reduce humidity.

Extractor fans are a good way of removing moist air from your bathroom or kitchen after bathing, washing or cooking.  Whole house solutions such as Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) systems such as EnviroVent Atmos are more effective as they displace humid air from all rooms, which stops damp and mould from growing throughout your home and protects all members of your household.

We can help

If you have discovered mould in your home and are worried about the impact on your health, please contact us. Our local ventilation specialists can conduct a free home survey that will identify the cause of condensation and mould in your home and give you advice about the best way to prevent it from being a long-term issue. Contact us today to book your survey and get rid of mould for good.

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During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

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