If you have mould in your home, then you are more likely to have respiratory problems, infections, asthma and allergies.
Mould is part of a group of relatively common organisms called fungi, which also includes foods like mushrooms and yeast. Mould growth is dangerous because it releases tiny spores into the air, which can then be inhaled by you and me. When we breathe in the microscopic spores, they sit in our respiratory tract and lungs and can trigger all types of reactions.
Typical Mould Reactions
Mould spores often trigger allergic or histamine reactions which can cause a runny nose, breathing issues, sore eyes, lethargy, and if you're asthmatic, asthma attacks.
The science was confirmed in 2004 when the Institute of Medicine found links between exposure to mould and respiratory tract issues, coughs and wheezes in healthy people, and asthma attacks in asthmatics or those with compromised immune systems.
There have also been recent studies that suggest that continued early exposure to mould for children can result in the development of asthma in potentially susceptible individuals.
Recent studies have also shown that children who are continually exposed to mould are more likely to develop asthma.
What is clear across all studies is that the effect of mould is cumulative. Exposure to a small amount of mould is unlikely to affect most people but prolonged exposure increases the risk of many adverse health outcomes.
About 5% of all types of mould contain mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are a highly toxic secondary metabolite (bi-product) that has the ability to kill other living organisms. Mycotoxins can cause mycotoxicosis and impact the functioning of various organs in the body. One of the most famous mycotoxins is a compound called penicillin. Penicillin is an incredible medical discovery, but it can be incredibly harmful to individuals who are allergic to penicillin.
The only way to determine if a mould contains mycotoxins is through expensive, time-consuming lab testing, which means that when you're removing mould, it should all be treated as though it contains mycotoxins.
What Should You Do When You Have Mould?
Treating mould requires removing the existing mould and addressing the environmental issues that allowed the mould to grow in the first place. Mould growth occurs when there is moisture present or the relative humidity is above 50%.
Small mould infestations can be easily treated with a white vinegar solution. We recommend a 1:1 mix of white vinegar and water. The anti-fungal properties in vinegar will kill almost all mould types.
Using a spray bottle, spray the vinegar solution on the mould, allow a short soaking time and then wipe with a micro-fibre cloth. Repeat the process at least once to ensure the mould has been effectively treated.
If a mark remains, use sugar-soap to clean the area.
How to Stop Mould From Returning:
When it comes to mould, prevention is better than the cure. The aim is to remove the moisture source that allows the mould to grow. Our quick checklist is:
- Make sure you don’t have any leaks. Leaks will usually cause a concentrated area of mould on a wall or ceiling.
- Increasing ventilation, especially in bathrooms and laundries.
- Install dehumidifiers. These can be as simple as a small desiccant dehumidifier such as a container of “damp-rid” or larger wall mounted dehumidifiers if mould is an ongoing issue through the home.
If your mould issues are severe or ongoing, then it’s best to call the professionals. Electrodry Mould Cleaning can effectively remove mould and provide practical, cost-effective recommendations to help prevent mould from returning.
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