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To discuss mold accurately first we must have a basic understanding of what it is and what makes it grow. Only then we will have the knowledge to not only remove the mould but also prevent it from effecting our health and home again
Mould – What Is It?
Mould is a fungi that has been around since time began. It is an organism that helps breakdown decaying materials. In your home these materials an include earth timber, plaster, carpets and underlay’s, soft furnishings and even clothing. Mould produces microscopic cells called “spores” which are so small they can easily spread through the air. Live spores act similar to seeds, forming new mould growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions.
Mould – What Makes It Grow?
Mould is a very simple organism and like most fungi it only needs three things to grow and multiply.
- Moisture, dampness
- A food source, any organic material, wood, earth, carpet, curtains, plaster etc
- A suitable place to grow with no or poor ventilation, under floor space, bathrooms, bedrooms with no or closed windows.
Out of these three, if you can control the excess moisture is the key to preventing and stopping indoor mould growth.
What is condensation ?
Mould in a residential property is a direct result of condensation, condensation is a result of too much moisture in the air. Inside air is made up of outside air plus what ever we add to it. The occupants of an average home will add up to 15
litres of water to the air per day from breathing, showering, cooking, drying clothes etc. When moist air cools down below its ‘dew point’, such as when it comes in contact with a cold surface the moisture falls out of suspension. Water pools on surfaces and runs down walls etc. Glass windows are usually the first place that shows evidence of condensation because they are the coldest surfaces.
What problems can condensation cause?
Condensation left untreated can promote mould, mildew growth and damage wood work, furnishings and clothes. Mould spores are known asthma and allergy triggers. Unpleasant smells are caused by damp conditions. Damp houses take more energy to heat, feel unhealthy and are unpleasant to live in.
There are many areas in a residential property that can easily have the right conditions for mould to grow and thrive, and there are hundreds of different types of mould like; Stachybotrys, Penicillium, Fusarium and Aspergillus is the most common mold found in residential homes and has 150 species that are all allergenic, some toxic and carcinogenic, related to asthma problems. Some other health problems often related to mould in your home are, a suppressed immune system, fatigue, headache, flu-like symptoms, allergies, asthma, low energy, sinus problems, and even depression have all been linked to over-exposure to household mould.