So you've heard about mould, and you have some idea that it might not be great to have it in your home. But you aren't exactly sure how it appears, why it's so bad, and how you can get rid of it. Here's everything you need to know.
How does mould form?
Mould in the home can be seriously bad news, but before you can comprehend the dangers, you have to understand what mould actually is and how it forms.
Because of its negative effects, many people think that mould is a form of bacteria, but this is not the case. It is actually a fungus. And mould isn't totally bad for the world. It exists as a decomposer of natural material, and so it is essential that the world has plenty of mould, but this doesn't mean that you want to have it inside your home.
Mould requires three things to exist and grow: water, oxygen, and a temperature between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Take away any of these three things and mould cannot exist.
Mould can produce tiny spores that are like very small seeds. These get carried in the air and this causes mould to spread. If those spores land on a damp, warm surface, you can pretty much guarantee that mould will grow.
What are the dangers of mould in the home?
If mould is left to grow, there can be serious consequences for anybody living in your home. Children, the elderly, and people with respiratory conditions such as asthma are particularly susceptible to the dangers of mould exposure.
It is not yet known whether mould itself can lead to the development of asthma, but it can certainly exacerbate its symptoms. Every asthmatic person has different triggers that can lead to asthma attacks and shortness of breath, and for some people, mould is one such trigger.
Mould is essentially bad news because it produces allergens and toxins. These can lead to certain reactions including shortness of breath (even if you are not asthmatic), sneezing, redness and streaming of the eyes, rashes on the skin, and coughing.
How can you stop mould from growing in your home?
One of the unpleasant things about mould growth is that you might not even be aware it is happening. Yes some mould takes on a nasty black or blue colour so that it is identifiable, but it can also be totally invisible to the naked eye. Out of sight, out of mind is definitely not the way to go when it comes to mould because it could still be present in your home and affecting your health even if you can't see it.
To stop mould growth in your home, you should firstly invest in an air cleaner. The best air cleaners will totally remove those nasty airborne mould spores from your home, improving the quality of air inside. You should be on the lookout for an air cleaner that has a HEPA filter as this will force the air through a system that collects harmful air particles such as mould spores (as well as tobacco smoke, pollen, dust mites, and more).
As well as capturing those mould spores, you should know that the trick to tackling mould is by cutting off its resources – water and heat. Australia can often have a humid climate that is a breeding ground for mould, so encourage ventilation with air conditioning units and dehumidifiers. You might even want to set a humidity gauge on your wall to ensure that the humidity levels don't creep up in the summer months.
Also be sure to remove any sign of dampness in the home. Monitor gutters to make sure that there are no leakages and fix any leaking pipes straight away. It can be a great idea to invest in a tumble dryer too because allowing your clothes to dry on a radiator will promote dampness inside your home.
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