Mould is a type of fungus which can occur in any part of the home providing it has a food source and moisture and it’s the latter which is the only controllable factor which we can manage. And although mould can occur anywhere where the conditions are right, the fact that it grows better in temperatures between 40F and 100F and requires moisture means that it is more commonly found on surfaces such as bathroom tiles which makes for the perfect setting for mould growth. However, any parts of the home where there are spillages, leaks, condensation, overflows or high humidity levels are potential areas for mould to grow and to thrive if good housekeeping and proper maintenance aren’t practiced.
The Consequences of Mould
In addition to often ruining surfaces and materials upon which it is present, certain strains of mould can also be quite damaging to our health. It can cause skin irritation, coughing and sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, a sore throat and a headache not forgetting the unpleasant musty smell it gives off if left untreated.
Dealing With Mould and Moisture
Although mould usually develops due to the conditions outlined above, it can also be brought into the home on furnishings, potted plants, stored clothing and bedding material that we might bring in from outside so it’s important you check that these type of things are mould-free before bringing them home. Regular house cleaning and vacuuming also helps to lower mould levels and mild bleach solutions and most bathroom tile cleaners are effective in the elimination and prevention of mould growth.
You should also keep humidity levels low in your home. If you have a tumble dryer, for example, keeping it in the garage, if you have one, reduces the humidity inside. You should give your home as much ventilation as you can comfortably achieve. Opening windows when cooking or when taking a bath or shower helps to reduce the amount of moisture in the air and you should keep on top of any areas which are prone to condensation. Wipe down kitchen work surfaces regularly and clear up any spillages or stagnant pools of water. If you do find that some materials cannot be completely dried, drywall or insulation, for example, then you should replace them.
Keep an eye out for leaks by identifying small pools of water, any discolouration or wet spots. Fridges, freezers, air conditioners and leaky washing machines are all easy targets and either a visible mould patch or a musty smell is usually the giveaway. Bathroom tiles can be easily treated with mild bleach or a special mould and mildew solution which you can buy in most supermarkets. However, porous materials such as furniture fabrics, upholstery, carpets and clothes are often more difficult to treat and, although not always beyond repair, if the mould has taken hold too deeply, these kinds of materials are often ruined and need to be thrown out. However, if in doubt, you should seek the advice of a specialist professional cleaner.