Homes that have leaks and high indoor humidity are favourite breeding grounds of mould, and mould poses serious dangers to your health and to your house’s structure as well.
Here are some of the reasons why you need to keep your home mould-free.
Mould weakens wood
Although they do not eat the wood itself like, say, termites do, mould spores that land on the surface of wood feed on the nutrients that can be found there, and that weakens the wood and in effect weakens the structure of your home.
Mould damages drywall
Mould damage to drywall can occur when mould spores attach themselves to the paper facing of the drywall. The mould spores feed on the paper and pretty soon a mould colony is formed and spreads all over the drywall.
Mould causes discolouration
Any part of the home that mould comes into contact with eventually becomes discoloured, including wood, drywall, metal and other building materials that your home is made of.
Mould poses serious danger to health
This is probably the most important reason why you need to keep your home mould-free. The various types of mould that can be found in your home are all potentially toxic, particularly to those who are already allergic to mould. Prolonged exposure to mould poses serious danger to health, as it can exacerbate existing conditions such as asthma, and cause migraines, shortness of breath, allergies and even death.
Preventing mould growth
Just to be clear, making your home completely free of mould for any given period of time is virtually impossible. Preventing mould growth, however, is completely doable. For starters, you should keep things dry around the house. As previously mentioned, mould thrives whenever moisture is present. If you have leaking pipes, you can have them repaired by a professional plumber or you can do it yourself if you have the skills and the right tools. If your home has gaps around doors and windows, seal them with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent rain from entering the home. Wherever leaks have taken place, dry those areas completely using towels as well as fans, which could also be useful for keeping air flowing through the house. Portable and whole-house dehumidifiers can also help in no small measure with keeping humidity indoors at low levels.
Keeping your house clean is also one effective way of preventing mould growth. When there are spills, wipe or mop them up straight away. Basement and bathrooms are prone to dampness, so do not store paper, fabrics, cardboard or any material that can serve as a source of food for mould spores. If mouldy surfaces have developed, clean them using a mixture of detergent, water and bleach. As mould poses serious danger to health, wear facial masks whenever cleaning mouldy surfaces. Should some of your porous and non-washable things develop mould or already smell musty, throw them away.