5 Reasons Why Mould Could Be Growing in Your Premises
Mould is a type of fungi that grows on damp areas within your home, on food and where there is moisture present. Landlords, tenants and homeowners may notice mould growing more than usual during the cooler months when there high rainfall and moisture collecting in non-ventilated areas. Coupled with wet weather and moisture, mould requires a temperature range between 10 to 40 degrees celsius to successfully grow and begin spreading by spores. Spores are the tiny, typically one-celled reproductive units that are capable of replicating and growing that allows mould to spread from its source location by air to other areas in the property. High exposure to spores can result in deleterious health outcomes for people if left unaddressed.
Exposure to mould and spores can result in irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, respiratory complications and elicit allergic reactions. The less serious symptoms can be easily managed by having the mould inspected and professionally removed and avoiding any contact with the infected area until it’s been treated. However, mould is particularly hazardous for young children, the elderly, asthmatics and those who have a weaker immune system.
Mould growth and its causes in your property may not be as clear cut, which is why we’ve outlined five of the most common causes of mould. If you keep in mind the below factors that mould need to grow, you can also prevent any future issues by addressing these points periodically. Mould requires the following conditions in order to grow in a home:
- Mould spores
- A food source such as wood, drywall, cotton
- A relative amount of darkness
Outlined below are five of the most common reasons why mould can be found growing in your home.
1 Poor Ventilation
There are many areas in your home where moisture is present day-to-day from either cooking, water from the shower, leaking pipes and areas in the basement where dampness has accumulated. If this is coupled with poor ventilation mould has ample opportunity to develop. One of the most common areas that does not get ventilated is the bathroom. Given the everyday use of the bathroom, shower, bath and toilet, water and moisture can build up very quickly resulting in surrounding structures becoming damp and taking longer to dry. Coupled with poor ventilation, mould has all the conditions necessary including warmth, oxygen and moisture to develop steadily in the area. If you’ve noticed that the ventilation fan in your bathroom is broken or steam builds up quickly after a shower and does not dissipate, address the issue immediately. Any area in the home where moisture builds up should have ample ventilation such as the washing machine and dryer area, kitchen and basement.
After twenty years of experience in the industry, Kleen-Tech has seen and resolved a host of flood-related mould issues in warehouses, offices and homes. There is an inevitable risk of mould after a property has been affected by flooding caused by rainwater, a broken pipe or blocked gutters and if it is dealt with swiftly you can prevent complications. The drying process after a flood can take days to weeks and in that time there might be a risk of mould developing. To prevent this, you should call a flood restoration expert as soon as possible, ideally within the first 24 hours of the flooding to commence the drying process. This way you’ll be able to prevent or reduce the the conditions necessary for mould to grow such as time, moisture and a warm environment.
3 Leaks in the Roof
Leaking roofs and resulting mould can be a difficult one to combat as the water can be leaking into the attic or roofing area for days to weeks before mould is noticed. By this time the mould has had all the conditions it needs to successfully grow and develop into spores making the removal and cleaning process timely and complicated. In situations like these, the best way to avoid mould growing from leaks in the roofs is to periodically check your attic for broken tiles and water deposits. Sometimes you may notice water outlines and mould slowly developing on the ceiling of your house which means that there has definitely been a leak from the roof. Ideally you don’t want to let the mould progress to this stage so it’s safer to check throughout the year and especially during winter.
4 Leaking Pipes
In commercial and domestic properties the piping can be visible from the outside of structures but also run through the walls and under the ground. These ones can be particularly tricky as sometimes the leaks can go unnoticed if they’re out of sight behind the walls. If a pipe is slowly leaking over time the water will build up gradually, with mould being able to develop given the dampness, time and temperature conditions available for mould to develop. You may see water outlines and small amounts of mould growing on the walls which may indicate a leaking pipe in the wall. Mould caused by leaking pipes is usually well-developed by the time it’s identified and spores can already be spreading in the air. Unless there is a sudden pipe burst that makes a noticeable sound or leak this can go unchecked for a large period of time. The best way to avoid this is to inspect the walls in your property or home for noticeable signs of water leaking from a burst pipe.
5 Damp Basements
Basements are one of the least ventilated places in a commercial property, office or home. Consequently they contain much higher amounts of moisture and humidity than the rest of the property as there is limited air flow to the basement and higher amounts of condensation given the cooler environment. Condensation leads to continued dampness and humidity in the area which in turn provides the perfect environment for mould to grow. Because the basement is one of the least visited areas in a home or commercial property, unless you store stock there or have access to household goods on a daily basis, mould growth can go unnoticed for months at a time. The best way to prevent mould growth in basements is to also conduct regular checks to the ceiling, walls, floors and items in the basement for water buildup or dampness. If it is possible to do so, leave a door open so that the area can be ventilated from time to time and hire a dehumidifier if you suspect there is humidity building up.
In servicing Melbourne and surrounding suburbs for over twenty years, Kleen-Tech has seen many causes of mould with the above five being some of the most common. If you’ve identified some mould or suspect dampness accumulating in areas around your home, feel free to chat to one of our Kleen-Tech mould specialists 24/7 on 1300 30 50 30.