Mould can be just as scary as it sounds. This fungal growth, which can be hiding behind your walls or under your carpet, can cause a myriad of health issues in otherwise healthy people and even prove catastrophic for those with certain illnesses or an allergy to mould.
What Is Mould and How Does It Get in a Home?
Mould is a fungus that can appear as a stain or raised almost “fuzzy” patches on the surfaces in your home. Toxic mould spores can get into the air and cause symptoms as mild as sneezing to severe breathing difficulties for some. Prolonged exposure to mould—specifically the mycotoxins released from mould—can put you and your family at risk for very serious health issues, including neurological problems, and even death.
Those allergic to mould commonly experience:
- Itchy and runny eyes
- Runny nose
- Congestion and sinus issues
- Respiratory problems
- Chronic cough
Mould can grow in a home when the conditions are right for it, which is any place that is damp and has poor ventilation, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and any areas that are damp from flooding or even condensation. Humidity in a home can cause just about any surface to feel damp and any surface that is damp for an extended period of time has the potential to grow mould.
Getting Rid of Mould
Even a structurally sound home can have mould. Your washer and dryer, heaters, and kitchens and bathrooms all contribute to the humidity in your home. Water vapours in the air come into contact with other surfaces, including cool ones such as your walls and windows, causing condensation. Indoor condensation is the leading cause of mould in Australian homes.
Getting rid of mould or preventing it is possible if you do your part to control the condensation and humidity in your home. Proper ventilation, insulation, and heating is important to keep mould out of a home. Opening windows and properly venting your appliances and plumbing goes a long way in improving ventilation in your home. You can also control your heating during colder months by keeping a low and constant heat as opposed to blasting the heater and creating a rapid temperature change that will inevitably lead to condensation.
Keeping moisture out of the home is a must. The following can help you do that:
- Fix roof leaks immediately
- Clean up spills and floods right away
- Keep weep holes outside of the home clear of debris to avoid clogging
- Check your windows and doors for broken seals and repair them right away
- Fix leaky toilets, sinks, and showers
- Regularly empty evaporation trays in air conditioners and refrigerators
- Wipe any moisture on windows and doors, keeping surfaces clean and dry
- Keep gutters clean
- Point downspouts away from the home’s foundation
- Slope the ground and gardens away from the foundation to keep water away
How a Dehumidifier Can Help
Whether you’re looking to prevent mould or control condensation and moisture after you’ve had mould removed; a dehumidifier can be extremely helpful. Dehumidifiers essentially suck moisture from the air and pass it over refrigerated coils. That moisture and condensation that is taken into the dehumidifier is then released into a removable holding tank inside the device that you empty as needed.
Different types and sizes of dehumidifiers are available and should be chosen based on the size of the area in which it will be used. You can control the moisture level, which should be between 30 and 50 percent depending on the time of year. An auto shut-off turns off the unit when the holding tank is full and will sound a chime so that you know it’s time to empty it.
Putting a dehumidifier in your home will help you control moisture and mould, as well as odours. A dehumidifier can help you breathe and sleep better for improved health overall.