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Getting rid of mould

Getting rid of mould

Mould is a type of fungus that grows on plants, fibres and other materials and is most often associated with damp, musty locations such as bathrooms, basements and attics.

Mould travels through the air as tiny spores, which like to make their home in wet areas where they can germinate. 

Mould is a health risk

Apart from looking unsightly, mould is also an allergen and an irritant.

Someone who suffers from household allergies or asthma may have trouble breathing in homes or work places with mould infestations.

Exposure to mould can occur when airborne mould cells, mostly spores are inhaled.

Usually these exposures do not present a health risk, but when levels become higher, some individuals, particularly those with allergies and/or asthma, can experience illness that can range anywhere from mild to serious.

People that are identified as high risk are infants and children, the elderly and anyone that has a compromised immune system.

Mould and moisture

If you find mould in your home or at work, it's best to nip it in the bud immediately to stop it spreading to other areas.

It's also a good indication of a moisture problem, which should be dealt with as soon as possible.

To eliminate mould, you first need to eliminate the moisture source.

Find out how and where moisture is seeping into your home or workplace and get it fixed.

If it's a large area, covering one square metre or more, you are advised to contact a local mould specialist.

Mould can be black, white, green, blue, pink or yellow. Mould can be furry, slimy or powdery. Some have musty, stale or earthy odours.

Mould facts

  • Mould, mushrooms and yeast are types of fungi.  
  • Fungi are found both indoors and outdoors.
  • Mould can be different colours - black, white, green, blue, pink or yellow.
  • Mould can be furry, slimy or powdery. Some have musty, stale or earthy odours.
  • Mould needs water, oxygen and food to grow but it can grow almost anywhere there is water, such as high humidity or damp conditions.
  • Some people are allergic to moulds. The most common symptoms of mould exposure are cough, congestion, runny nose or trouble breathing. Mould can also worsen asthma symptoms or provoke other allergies.
  • Bleach does not permanently kill mould. 
  • Painting over mould will not kill or seal it up.
  • Just because you can’t see mould, doesn’t mean that you don’t have it.
  • The best way to prevent mould is to deal with the water and moisture sources.
  • Before you consider cleaning up mould you should detect and repair the moisture source first, otherwise mould will return.

Mould can grow on

  • Wood
  • Plastics
  • Cement and concrete
  • Plaster and gypsum
  • Rubber
  • Metals
  • Paints
  • Fabrics
  • Plants/Soils
  • Wool, Hair, Skin
  • Humidifiers
  • Vinyl
  • Fibreglass
  • Glass

Ventilation and drying

If you do find yourself dealing with a mould problem first up, remove the source of moisture if you can find it. 

Then make sure your house has good ventilation, especially in damp prone areas such as the bathroom.

Look at installing drying equipment - but seek professional advice to avoid over drying and structural damage.

Get more advice and information about mould.

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