How ventilation systems reduce the causes of mould
Not only is the presence of mould in a home an unpleasant sight, it can also be bad for the health of the residents. One of the most common moulds - Stachybotrys chartarum produces toxic spores that can cause severe allergic reactions and contribute to health problems including asthma.
The presence of mould in any property is something that needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible, but unless you deal with the cause of the problem, the mould will simply grow back, leaving spreading stains on walls and ceilings.
What Causes Mould to Grow
Black Mould (Stachybotrys chartarum) thrives in damp conditions, growing well in the porous walls of our houses where it spreads across the paint in large colonies which are also home to dust mites.
Around 1 in 5 UK homes suffer from some level of damp that provides the environment for mould to grow, and the most common cause of this damp is condensation.
Condensation is caused when warm moist air comes into contact with cool areas and deposits water that can soak into the microscopic pores in the surface and linger over time.
A variety of different activities contribute to the amount of moisture in the air. Bathing and showering release large amounts of steam, as do cooking and boiling a kettle, but moisture also comes from drying clothes and even breathing – the beads of water on bedroom windows on cold windows come from our breath during the night.
Once a surface has become sufficiently damp, mould can begin to grow. The spores of Stachybotrys chartarum can linger in the air for a long time until they activate, and this is one of the reasons why mould will recur if not properly treated.
Short term removal of mould is possible. Cleaning the area with a fungicide or even using white wine vinegar can remove the growth of mould, but provided that the underling conditions of moisture remain, the mould will grow back again. In order to get rid of mould permanently, you will need to make the environment of your home less welcoming to the spores.
The only way to prevent mould growing in your home is to remove the damp that sustains it, and this usually means getting rid of condensation.
Condensation is caused by moist air coming into contact with cold surfaces and can be prevented with improved ventilation.
Ventilation prevents condensation problems in two ways:
- It removes the moist air from the building through extractor fans.
- It encourages air to move more freely through the building which prevents the air from becoming saturated and trapped in one area where it has time to release its moisture.
Simple extractor fans can help to reduce condensation. Normally the fans are placed in wet rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms and expel the moist are caused by cooking or bathing straight out of the building. Modern EnviroVent extractor fans include technology that allows them to respond to the humidity and increase the airflow to remove moist air more quickly.
The drawback with extractor fans is that their effect is limited to a single room.
In order to address condensation development throughout the rest of a house, a whole house ventilation system may be required. These systems have a centralised pump which helps air flow into and out of all rooms in the building and prevents condensation settling into damp.
Find Out More
A problem with mould in your home could seriously affect your household’s health. To find out what you can do reduce damp and mould, please contact us today to book a free survey.