We all know mould when we see it: a slimy, powdery or fuzzy growth that infests our food, tiles, clothing, walls and ceilings – but how does it grow and why is it considered a health hazard?
Here, we’ll dive into what mould is, how it grows and the preventive measures you can take to ensure you don’t get a nasty surprise. Let’s have a look.
How Does Mould Grow?
As a fungus and a living organism, mould growth is a vital part of our functioning ecosystem.
It releases enzymes to break down plant matter, highly cellulose material or any biodegradable substance. Mould only requires a few things to survive: moisture and the right temperature. With this being said, some mould strains thrive in warm, hot or cold temperatures.
If there are high moisture levels, mould will grow and release airborne spores to spread, attaching itself to any surface. As long as mould has moisture and lack of airflow, it will continue to spread.
Although it is known for eating its way through decaying organic matter, mould easily grows and spreads inside the home through non-organic materials. Different species of mould carry different characteristics, colours and can evolve and change throughout maturity. Common characteristics include pink, orange, brown, green or black coloured growth with a slimy, powdery or fuzzy texture. It’s also paired with an unmistakable musty, sour, rotting odour.
Is Mould Dangerous?
Yes. While some mould species are considered harmless, others are known to cause serious health concerns to even healthy adults with constant exposure. Because there are thousands of mould strains in existence, it is virtually impossible to correctly identify them. So, the best way to stay safe from mould is to avoid coming into contact with it or seeking out a professional removal service. If mould is left to spread around the home you may notice common symptoms such as:
- Rashes or skin inflammations
Mould exposure (especially toxic black mould) pose a higher risk for those with existing respiratory problems, children, the elderly and those with compromised or weakened immune systems. Some more serious health problems from mould exposure may include:
- Organ infections
- Asthma and allergy symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
While small amounts of mould are not considered harmful, if left untreated or if it is ingested it may be very harmful to your health. If you find mould on your food, throw it away immediately. If you have a mould infestation, do not attempt to remove the mould and reach out to a professional mould removal service.
If you are experiencing mild or severe reactions due to mould exposure, reach out to a GP or your healthcare professional to discuss your symptoms and treatment.
How Do I Get Rid of Mould?
Removing mould is no easy feat and is best left to a professional removal team. If you attempt to remove small patches of mould, you can use bleach:
Bleach: Mix a 1:10 ratio of bleach and water and scrub onto the mould before wiping clean. For clothing, fabrics or curtains, use the same ratio with colour safe bleach and add to your washing machine.
To avoid breathing in mould spores, wear a protective mask, gloves and eyewear when attempting to remove any kind of mould.
Mould loves to hide in hard to reach and dark places so it may not be easy to realise the severity of the problem. If you can smell mould or have recently had water damage, seek out a professional mould service to inspect and treat the mould.
How Do I Prevent Mould?
The easiest way to prevent mould is to control and limit the amount of moisture circulating throughout the home. Each room must receive fresh and regular airflow and have clean, dry surfaces. Here are some other ways to combat mould growing in your home:
- Ventilate kitchen and bathroom areas
- Use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner set to ‘dry mode’ in humid climates
- Clear out and circulate airflow in dark places such as attic spaces or basements
- Promptly clean any spills or leaks within 48 hours
- Avoid leaving damp clothes or towels on the floor or in the washing machine
- Regularly clean and dry water excess trays from air conditioner units and dehumidifiers
- Avoid hanging clothes indoors unless the area receives adequate ventilation
- Regularly clean out guttering, external drainage and downpipes
When to Call a Mould Removal Professional
If you are afraid of mould becoming a problem in your home and are looking for a long-term solution, be sure to call upon a professional team to help you. The MouldMen team will inspect, treat and provide you with a Mould Management and Prevent Plan to ensure that your home is kept safe and free from mould. Call us on 1300 60 59 60 to book your free inspection today.