The Impact of Mould Exposure
Under normal conditions bacteria and fungi exist in clean and dry environments within properties. Bacteria and fungi start to find their way inside houses and buildings by single cells and spores via open windows and doors and from soil that has been introduced from shoes and clothing. Under normal, dry environments indoor spores will attach themselves to inanimate objects and rest for weeks to months without causing disturbance to the property. They have the ability to resist unfavourable environmental changes and thrive best in dark and damp environments. Such ‘micro-environments’ include carpets, upholstery, wood, walls, ceilings, HVAC systems and other materials. Although this may sound problematic, regular cleaning and dusting ensures that the microbes do not flourish and begin compromising the structures within your property. This is because a regular cleaning schedule ensures micro-environments are removed on a daily basis and collections of dust and microbes are not given the opportunity to flourish.
In some cases, however, mould exposure can result in adverse health effects including headaches, nasal congestion, eye and throat irritation and difficulty breathing.
What Are The Effects Of Mould?
Mould is a type of fungi that grows on surfaces with sufficient moisture and time. There are adverse health affects associated with mould when humans and animals are exposed to it via direct contact, ingestion or inhalation. Some of the main side effects from exposure to mould are listed below. Given the adverse health affects from exposure to mould it is important to check your home after heavy rainfall or indoor flooding to prevent adverse side effects to anyone within the house.
- Weakened immune systems
- Chronic, obstructive or allergic lung disease
- Skin irritation
- Eye irritation
- Sneezing or coughing fits
- Nasal congestion
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded “that there is an association between exposure to dampness or mould and conditions such as asthma, allergic alveolitis and mould infections in susceptible individuals.” (1) Other potential side effects include increased respiratory issues for those who have asthma and if you’re allergic to mould you may experience shortness of breath, infection, fever and an increased amount of asthma attacks.
Is Mould a Bacteria or Fungi?
Mould is a type of fungi. Fungi are a type of eukaryotic organism including yeasts, mushrooms and mould. They are a type of organism that are not classified as animals, plants or bacteria and exist in their unique kingdom but contain complex eukaryotic cells similar to animals and plants. Fungi grow and thrive by absorbing plant and animal material from their immediate environments. On the other hand bacteria is a type of single-celled organism that exists in a host of environments with different functions in different shapes and forms. Many of them exist harmoniously in micro-environments such as in the ocean, serving a very useful purpose in keeping the ecosystem in balance. In other situations they can be particularly harmful and detrimental to animals and humans when in contact. Such bacteria include Salmonella, Shigella and Escherichia coli.
What Should I Do If I Find Mould In My House?
If you suspect there is mold growing inside your property you should arrange for a mould technician to attend your property and conduct mould sampling and analyses. It’s best to act quickly in these situations because once you notice the first signs of mould it may have already infiltrated and damaged materials in your home, compromising its structure. There are certified mould technicians available in all areas. If you are in Melbourne, Victoria or any of the surrounding suburbs call Kleen-Tech on 1300 305 030. All our mould technicians are available for immediate callout to anywhere in Melbourne or the surrounding suburbs within the hour.