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Mould in the home & what you can do about it

I get a call out at least once per week about broken down extractor fans which is very common, most people only realise what a problem it is when they start to see the mould growth as a result but it can be a problem throughout the house.


Mould on walls refers to the growth of fungi, typically appearing as discolorations or spots in various colours such as black, green, brown, or white. Mould thrives in damp, humid environments and can grow on various surfaces, including walls, ceilings, and floors. Here's an overview of the main aspects of mould on walls:


Causes of Mould Growth

  1. Moisture: High humidity levels, leaks, or condensation provide the necessary moisture for mould to thrive.

  2. Poor Ventilation: Inadequate airflow in rooms like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements can lead to moisture build-up.

  3. Water Damage: Flooding, leaks from roofs or pipes, and poor drainage can introduce water into walls.


Types of Mould

  • Black Mould (Stachybotrys chartarum): Often associated with severe health risks and is commonly found in water-damaged buildings.

  • Green Mould (Aspergillus): Can grow on walls, especially where there is water damage or high humidity.

  • White Mould (Penicillium): Often appears as white powdery spots and can spread rapidly in damp conditions.


Health Risks

Exposure to mould can lead to various health issues, especially for individuals with respiratory conditions, allergies, or weakened immune systems. Common health effects include:

  • Allergic reactions (sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin rash)

  • Asthma attacks

  • Respiratory issues (coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing)

  • Headaches and fatigue


Prevention and Removal

  • Ventilation: Ensure good airflow in high-humidity areas through fans or dehumidifiers.

  • Repair Leaks: Fix any leaks in roofs, walls, or plumbing promptly.

  • Waterproofing: Use waterproof materials and sealants in vulnerable areas.

  • Cleaning: Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces prone to mould growth.

  • Professional Help: For extensive mould problems, especially involving black mould, seek professional remediation services.


DIY Cleaning Solutions

  • Vinegar: Spray white vinegar directly onto the mould and let it sit for an hour before wiping clean.

  • Baking Soda: Mix baking soda with water to create a paste, apply it to the mouldy area, scrub with a brush, and rinse with water.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide to the mould, let it sit for 10 minutes, then scrub and wipe clean.


Conclusion

Addressing mould on walls promptly and effectively is crucial for maintaining a healthy living environment. A lot of mould is caused by peoples lifestyles, if you dry clothes indoors, over radiators, don't open windows and doors regularly, you will be more likely to get mould in the home. .


A great solution that I find for more serious mould problems is to install a positive input ventilation unit along with MEV fan units in wet rooms (I like the Greenwood Unity), this encourages good air flow and will help prevent mould from forming.



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