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Mould can become both a problem and a menace in your home. When mould forms, it can affect your health and make you sick. Since mould spores are largely invisible to the naked eye, you might not realize you have a problem until its presence begins to affect how you feel.
Some people such as the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and people who suffer from allergies and respiratory disorders such as asthma are more susceptible to the affects of mould. Health symptoms that might be an indication you have a mould infestation include flue like symptoms, running nose, coughing, runny eyes and skin irritation.
There are many places where mould can form in your home and for a variety of reasons. Mould can be visible to the naked eye or can be hidden in places where it’s not so visible and apparent such as underneath carpets, behind floorboards, underneath vinyl floors, or behind walls. Asides from mould which is obviously visible to the naked eye, another indicator that you have mould is a musty smell.
The presence of mould should not be taken lightly. Learn how to recognize the conditions that cause the formation of mould. Ttake positive steps to eliminate the cause of mould before it becomes a problem.
Common Areas the Home Where Mould Can be Found
The first thing to know is to understand where and what conditions cause mould to form and grow. Mould likes any material that is organic. It especially loves to grown on soil, paper, and wood.
Mould also loves moisture, and that is one of the biggest causes for the formation of mould in your home. Moisture in your hour home can come from a variety of sources. Wet areas that provide a medium for the formation of mould include any form of condensation, leaks, and flooding. One of the biggest reasons for the accumulation of moisture in a home is due to a lack of ventilation that is required to remove and dry the moisture.
Mould also forms where the humidity is greater than 70%. Mould can form on damp clothing. So the biggest thing you can do is always eliminate the presence of moisture in your home as soon as possible.
Mould is typically common in your basement, attic, and bathroom, under the kitchen sink, wooden window sills, around drains and underneath pipes. These are the main areas where excess moisture and humidity can occur and cause formation to occur.
Mould can enter your home in a variety of ways. Mould spores can enter through open windows, off your pets, and can even be on your clothes. If your home is dry, these mould spores won’t be a problem as they require the right conditions to grow and thrive.
How to Prevent Mould in your Home
The first thing you want to do is to give your home a very thorough inspection. You want to pinpoint all the areas which are experiencing moisture problems. This inspection also gives you the opportunity to locate any areas in the home which may already be infected with mould.
Your main objectives to eliminate mould include:
- Ensure that all areas of your home are dry and have adequate ventilation.
- Locate and repair any leaky or broken pipes.
- Eliminate any storage material that can hide mould and located in damp areas. Ensure any organic like material such as boxes and clothing are kept away from moist areas or removed elsewhere.
- Make sure that you thoroughly clean your home regularly, and get in those nooks and crannies such as window sills, under the sinks and vanity.
Mould Prevention by Area
Let’s take you through your home room by room, and step by step to give you proactive steps to eliminate moisture.
Your basement or crawlspace is the on of the most crucial areas to eliminate moisture. The first step is to remove or reduce as much as possible any organic material where mould likes to grow. At least make sure these types of items are not sitting under pipes that has condensation, or rests on bare concrete.
When it’s warm and humid outside, using a de-humidifier can greatly reduce the moisture content. Try to eliminate any standing water, and ensure any pipes which are leaking are immediately repaired. Make sure you keep your sump pump pits covered, and if you’re going to use plywood for this purpose, you should wrap the plywood in plastic.
Keep you your furnace filters well maintained and ensure they cleaned and inspected annually.
Carpets and bathrooms don’t really mix well as they are an ideal source for mould formation. You also want to ensure that the ceiling fan is working and that it is venting the moisture to the outside of the home. If you take a shower, leave the fan running, crack a window or leave the door open so the bathroom can dry adequately and quickly. Also, clean up any excess moisture so it doesn’t sit for any lengthy period of time.
Make sure you keep your drains in good shape and remember to always give the area around and behind the taps a regular cleaning. Use storage containers to hold your household items under the sink. They are easier to remove that way so you can clean and disinfect underneath the sink regularly. If you’re boiling something, crack a window for ventilation and drying.
The main thing is not to hang wet clothes in a small enclose space as they won’t dry properly and allow the formation of mould and mildew especially in summer when it can be very humid. You should also dry your sinks and washing tub every time you use it and ensure your lint traps are always cleaned either before or after use.
Clean your drains regularly by adding a small handful of baking soda and then add some vinegar. Plug the drain and let it stand for about 15 or so minutes and then rinse. Don’t store wet or damp clothes in your clothes closet. Try to eliminate some of your potted plants if possible as moist soil is a great medium for mould to grow.
Always perform a visual inspection of your home looking for possible areas where moisture might be leaking into your home such as foundation cracks, caulking around windows, and the flashing. Also make sure to clean the eaves trough on a regular basis.
Moisture and mould problems must be addressed immediately as the situation can only worsen and possibly begin to infect your health. Although small areas of mould can be cleaned up by yourself, often what you can see is only a small portion of the real mould damage. If the situation appears more serious and larger areas of the home are infected then you need to call in specialists who specialize in the elimination of mould, also know as mould remediation.
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