Mould and mildew serve an important ecological purpose. They help in breaking down organic matter thereby enriching the soils and helping bio-degrade organic matter that could otherwise litter the landscape. That is ok as long as the mould growth is restricted to your gardens. However, where the mould growth occurs in the home, they can have a devastating effect not only on the structural integrity of your building but also on the health of the occupants.
The toll of mould growth can be staggering. They break down structures and surfaces such as wood, paint and tiles leading to costly repairs. Mould degradation will also degrade the value of your property in the real estate market. Mouldy conditions can also cause serious discomfort and health complications for the inhabitants such as throat irritation, sinus problems and various other respiratory problems.
The primary catalyst for mould growth is moisture. As long as there is a humid environment, water seepage or water damage on your property, you are most likely going to have a serious mould problem. Here are some tips on how you can prevent the mould growth and ensure you are living in a healthy and structurally sound building.
Identify the Problem Areas Early On
Don’t wait until you begin to sense that “musty” smell or serious structural damage to begin acting on your mould growth problem. Preventive measures are always more prudent and will help you save more money over the long haul.
It is not possible to mould-proof a home but you can make the home mould-resistant. Start with a mould audit and identify the problem areas that are most likely to be impacted. Does the ceiling have water stains? Are you seeing frequent condensation on your window panes or attics? Do you have a persistent leak somewhere on your roof? Are your gutters damaged? Mould-proofing may be as simple as replacing your carpeting or as complex as excavating and waterproofing your building. An audit can help you assess the scale of your mould problem so you can apply the right measures.
Install proper ventilation
Moisture problems in the house most often occur due to poor ventilation. If your house is not well ventilated, activities such as showering, cooking or laundry work will quickly lead to a moisture build that is likely to cause mould growth. Ensure that you have vented the appliances that produce moisture such as stoves and clothe dryers. If you are using AC units and dehumidifiers, ensure that they don’t produce moisture themselves. You can also open windows when cooking, washing, showering or doing laundry work for proper venting.
Clean and repair your roof gutters
If the gutter is damaged or functioning improperly, it will inevitably contribute to stormwater backing up on your fascia boards and soffits and causing a slow damage over time. Clean and repair your gutters frequently to avoid the spill-over effect from the gutter damage.
Have a dry home
Mould growth in your home is simply down to excessive moisture in the home. It goes without saying that controlling indoor moisture will significantly slow down the mould growth or eliminate it altogether. Dry out the wet areas in your home. If there is spillage or seepage from the basement, make sure these are dried out within 48 hours to prevent mould growth. Other areas to watch out for include leaky pipes and spillage on the carpet, furniture and bedding. The daily spillage occurrences on your home must be given a close attention. Your clothes should well dried before storage. Avoid hanging wet clothes indoors. Always hang wet items outside where there is good air circulation.
Install mould resistance
You can also fortify certain surfaces on your home with mould-resistant products during the home renovations or the remodelling of areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. There are mould inhibitors that are used in paints along with mould-resistant drywall and Sheetrock. In mould-resistant drywalls, the core of the gypsum is typically covered with fibre-glass material that is highly water-resistant thereby inhibiting the growth of mould on the surface.