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If you detect mould in your home, you’re not alone – it’s more common than you might think, especially in humid parts of the world.
Mould grows in moist environments, so Middle Eastern homes are particularly susceptible due to their indoor humidity levels. Whether it's the black spots on your towel, the fuzzy white patches on your kitchen floor, or the slick orange film that forms on your pipes, household mould can be bad news for your family’s health, as well as unpleasant to look at.
Mould is a type of fungus that consists of small organisms found almost everywhere. Outdoors, mould plays an important role in nature, breaking down dead leaves, plants, and trees. It thrives on moisture and reproduces by means of tiny spores that travel through the air. Mould only takes 24 to 48 hours to grow in a moist indoor area.
Spores enter the home through the air, like open windows, doorways, and ventilation systems, or by attaching to people on clothing, shoes and bags. The most significant contributors to mould are excess moisture from everyday living and poor ventilation.
You may be surprised to know how much water vapour is generated in the home from essential actions like washing, cleaning and even breathing – the average family of four can produce approximately four pints of water a day. As we can spend up to 90% of our lives indoors, this means moisture needs to be ventilated continuously. Homes with insufficient ventilation will always be more susceptible to mould. Water from faulty plumbing or leaks can also lead to mould if left over time.
Mould can grow anywhere – walls, floors, appliances, carpet, and furniture. It needs moisture to grow, so it is most likely in damp places such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawl spaces. For the same reason, homes on lower levels are more prone to mould growth as they are more exposed to moisture evaporating from drains, soil, and the ground when it rains.
As well as being unpleasant to look at, mould can also fill homes with a musty, stale smell, sometimes described as being similar to the smell of decaying wood.
It can grow on a range of materials including furniture, due to a combination of excess humidity and poorly insulated exterior walls. For example, when a dresser is placed against an exterior wall, the airflow is restricted, and condensation can form. In time, this condensation creates an environment conducive to mould growth. Mould spores can easily spread to other damp surfaces, including other wood products. Different wood species are affected differently by mould, due to the wood’s stored sugar content. Any untreated wood can be at risk of acquiring mould without the proper care.
This can wreak havoc on furniture, wallpaper, carpets, and upholstery which will need to be replaced if the mould is not treated early.
If not dealt with, mould growth can have adverse effects on family health, too. People are typically exposed to mould by contact, ingestion, or inhalation. Mould spores and mould have adverse effects on indoor air quality, which is especially dangerous for people with weak immune systems, allergies, or asthma. Some people, like children, older people, those with existing skin problems, those with respiratory problems, and those with weakened immune systems, are more sensitive than others.
Inhaling or touching mould spores can cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Mould can also cause asthma attacks.
Mould can bloom quickly after the smallest damage, like a leaking shower, condensation under the air-conditioning unit, or water pooling in your crawlspace. But if spotted early, it can be easily treated to minimize the damage.
The eight tell-tale signs to look out for are:
With mould, homeowners should always try to prevent it as much as they can.
Keeping indoor humidity levels as low as possible by using a HEPA dehumidifier is key to maintaining humidity no higher than 50% to prevent the growth of pathogenic microbes of mould and to improve your indoor air quality. Rentokil Boecker highly recommends the use of an industrial-grade industrial dehumidifier with HEPA filter, as key maintenance after thorough mould remediation.
Homeowners should also pay attention to ventilation to keep air moving freely, especially in parts of the home that naturally tend to have higher humidity levels like kitchens and bathrooms. If possible, installing exhaust fans that vent outside your home is recommended too, as is drying clothes outside.
Homeowners should fix leaks quickly, add mould inhibitors to paints before decorating, clean bathrooms with mould-killing products and remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried immediately.
Once mould has set in, you might require professional help to remediate it before it spreads further and impacts your family’s health.
Rentokil Boecker has a dedicated team of industry-certified mold remediation experts who can assist in inspecting and treating any mould within your property.
Our remediation process by our expert professional uses a non-toxic chemical, providing lasting protection against mould and mildew without leaving a harsh odour in your home and safe for the environment.
Take proactive actions today to prevent mould - book a routine check to avoid preventable and potentially hefty remediation costs.
This service reduces over 90% of the pathogens in the air and is applied based on a customized mould control plan, after in-depth inspection of sources, infestation and affected areas.