Whilst mould thrives on moisture all year round, it is further exacerbated during the colder months of winter when everything is damp.
You may not smell it or even see it, however it can have a devastating outcome for the health of the inhabitants of a home. Our homes can have up to 50 % of our indoor environment affected by dampness in the winter months these are prime conditions for mould growth. Most new homes have very poor access to natural ventilation and mould thrives in poorly ventilated spaces.
Locating the source of the moisture is the answer to eradicating mould problems it may be from leaking plumbing i.e. pipes in the walls, gutter overflows, moisture in the subfloor and condensation in the roofspace, these are the major areas for consideration that may need to be remedied by a tradesperson.
However in saying that you yourself can be responsible for your actions in your home – make sure that all in the home is clean and most of all dry from moisture, open windows and allow the ambient air to flow through drying up any moisture, allow for effective ventilation. Use exhaust fans that are ducted through the roof not into the roof. To allow good circulation when having showers, cooking and washing. Stop the long showers, get a 4 minute timer this will cut down on steam created by extra-long showers, cutting down on these things will actually help decrease the likelihood for mould growth in the winter months.
Pay attention to areas of the home internally that would be obvious sources for mould growth – bathrooms, kitchens and laundries – keep these areas clean and dry from excessive moisture. You should be making sure that your roof gutters are clean and falling properly to the downpipes, not backing over into the eaves. That plumbing pipes are not leaking, that the sub floor is adequately ventilated and that the roofspace has an effective roof ventilation system to control condensation in the roofspace.
The trick to treat mould is to locate the source of the moisture that mould thrives on, locate the areas of inadequate ventilation, plumbing problems, leaking taps and showers, pipes in walls.
THE HEALTH PROBLEMS OF WINTER MOULD CANNOT BE TRIVIALISED GET THE SOURCE BEFORE IT GETS TO YOU OR MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY
Mould can have a strong musty damp smell although I reiterate you may not smell it or you may not see it. Mould spores can be so minute they cannot be seen by the naked eye. Mycotoxins are toxic and have been known to be fatal. The first thing you may find that you or members of your family are experiencing the effects of respiratory allergies, asthma, bronchitis, sneezing, runny nose, eyes stinging for no reason symptoms of fatigue, headache etc.
So check your plumbing pipes, leaking taps and showers, that your guttering is clean from debris, falling the right way and most of all make sure there is adequate ventilation within the home the sub floor and the roofspace.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
- The obvious mould stains
- Plumbing leakes
- Gutters over flowing and backing over
- Leaking taps
- Leaking windows
- Leaking roofs
- Condensation problems – obvious stains in the corners of ceilings or around light fittings, at the base of windows and on walls, musty damp floor coverings.
WHAT TO DO
If you have a really bad problem with mould you should enlist the services of a mould specialist to eradicate it. However you should first make sure you keep the kitchen, bathroom and laundry clean and dry, don’t dry wet clothes in the home or stack up clothes and papers etc against walls. That roof gutters are in good repair, that you have no leaks anywhere in your home that all floor coverings are dry from moisture. Make sure your subfloor is dry from moisture that your roofspace is free from moisture. Sometimes foliage very close to the walls of a home can contribute to moisture in the home. If your sub floor is damp extra ventilators in the brickwork may be necessary for good cross flow, if the ground falls toward the home you may need to have an AG drain along the length of the wall. You will also need an effective roof ventilation system to keep the roofspace dry all year round.
Universal Tile Ventilators for tiled roofs and the Smoothline Ventilator System for corrugated colorbond roofs.