Dealing with mould is what many homeowners want to avoid. In that regard, learning about the causes and risks of mould, and how to best remove and prevent it is essential. To help homeowners get rid of the mould problem successfully, here are 10 frequently asked questions about mould in homes:
1. What is mould?
Mould is a type of fungus that lives almost everywhere there is moisture, oxygen, and organic matter. Mould plays an important role in nature as it helps organic material decompose. However, mould found indoors can cause health problems, as well as structural problems to buildings.
2. Why does mould grow in homes?
Mould releases microscopic mould spores into the air. Since mould spores are airborne, all homes have mould spores in them, some more than others. Mould grows in homes because almost all homes meet the requirements of mould growth: moisture, nutrients (such as cellulose), and time.
3. Where does mould grow in homes?
Mould commonly grows in areas that are prone to moisture, such as the basement and bathroom. However, mould can also grow in hidden areas of the home, such as behind walls, under the floor, in the air conditioning system, in the crawl space or in the attic.
4. When does mould become a problem?
Although all homes have mould spores in them, larger patches of mould growth can cause health issues and structural damage. Signs of mould in homes include a musty odour and the visible black or white specks in areas of a home that have a water problem.
5. Am I exposed to mould?
If there is mould growing in a home, its residents can be exposed to it. When mould is disturbed, it releases spores into the indoor air that people breathe. Other forms of exposure include touching the mould itself or mouldy items, eating mouldy food and hand-to-mouth contact.
6. How does mould affect our health?
Mould-sensitive individuals may exhibit allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, itchy eyes, wheezing, and skin irritation. Mould exposure can also trigger asthmatic symptoms that include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Mould can also cause irritant reactions, which are similar to those of an allergic reaction.
7. Should a home be tested for mould?
When occupants suspect that there is mould growing in their home, they don’t have to know which type of mould it is, but should have it removed as soon as possible. It is not necessary to test for mould if the signs of mould growth in the home are noticeable. Sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining the health risk of the occupants.
8. Can the homeowners clean up mould themselves?
Although it is always better to hire a certified mould removal company, homeowners might be able to remove small patches of mould – which are smaller than one square metre – themselves. When unsure how to remove mould, or if the infested area is larger than one square metre, a qualified mould removal professional should be hired.
9. How can homeowners clean up mould?
Removing mould efficiently is harder than most people think. First, they have to wear protective clothing to reduce exposure to mould. Then, they need to isolate the mould, so that it doesn’t spread to other rooms. After that, the water problem should be fixed and the affected surfaces must be dried. To clean up mould, a mixture of household detergent and water should be scrubbed on the surface. Using bleach is not a good idea as it doesn’t prevent mould from reappearing.
10. How can mould growth be prevented in a home?
Preventing mould requires fixing moisture problems in the home. Homeowners must repair leaks in the walls, roof, gutters, and plumbing pipes, keep indoor humidity at 30-50% by using a dehumidifier, ventilate appliances that generate moisture, and keep the gutter system clean.
The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.
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