Now winter is upon us we need to look out for moisture damage to our home and contents, as moisture is a precursor for the possibility of mould problems. Mould needs moisture for its existence and is further exacerbated by a continued supply of moisture.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS FOR MOULD WE SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR
The first thing to realise is are you or members of your family experiencing the effects of respiratory allergies, have you noticed these allergies to worsen or to have just begun – sneezing, runny nose, eyes stinging for no reason etc, etc. Are you recently smelling that musty damp mouldy smell, this may really be the only warning you have that there is a hidden mould problem. In this case you should engage the services of a registered mould specialist.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT SIGNS FOR MOULD WE HAVE TO LOOK OUT FOR
Mould grows and multiplies best in damp and poorly ventilated areas reproducing and making mould spores that are airborne and so minute cannot be seen by the naked eye. Mould appears as a very deep dirty discolouration most commonly black in colour also brown, green, orange and white and will also come with that musty damp smell. Some moulds have cotton like fuzzy spots.
WHAT KINDS OF SIGNS DO YOU NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR, FOR THE COURSE OF MOULD PROBLEMS
Plumbing leaks inside walls and from all other leaking plumbing applications, i.e. baths, showers, sinks, etc, etc.
These are probably about the worst areas for a mould problem to ensue, if the problem is behind a wall, firstly the mould problem should be taken care of by a registered mould expert. Then it will be necessary to have remedial work done by a builder, carpenter or plasterer.
AS CONDENSATIONIS A MAJOR PRECURSER FOR MOULD PROBLEMS CONDENSATION PROBLEMS CAN COME FROM A VARIETY OF PLACES
We need to reduce the potential for condensation on the cold surfaces of the home such as windows and bathroom wet areas. Keep these areas as dry as possible and allow for some effective ventilation .
You may see brown stains around the corners of the ceiling and light fittings this is generally caused by condensation in the roofspace and before you see these brown stains this condensation has usually been soaked up by the ceiling insulation. These are perfect areas for moulds to form and thrive. So needless to say an effective roof ventilation system will take care of the condensation in the roofspace.
Roof leaks will give you the ominous warning as a precursor for mould problems, roof leaks show the same way as condensation problems of the roofspace usually brown stains around the ceiling. So obviously you would need to repair the roof in this case, however these stains are mostly due to a condensation problem.
WATER DAMAGE TO CARPETS AND FURNITURE SHOULD ALSO BE TAKEN CARE OF AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO ALLEVIATE THE POSSIBILITY OF MOULD INFESTATION AND DAMAGE
Clean and dry out all moisture, dry carpets, sometimes these may have to be lifted, however it may be the best bet to hire a dehumidifier or more than one if needed just make sure that all moisture has been eradicated from the effected products and rooms. Reduce indoor humidity by allowing for good ventilation, open windows and internal doors. Don’t keep your home locked up 24/7 all winter.
Then there is the problem of rising damp – when timber floors are too close to the ground – mould can grow under carpets, with the first warning that damp musty smell. This is a sub floor problem if the carpet is affected with mould it should be removed and changed to a polished floor. If the carpet is just musty you may be able to dry with a dehumidifier. A mould expert may be the best for your peace of mind, however you will need to fix the sub floor ventilation problem – this can be done with mechanical fans or many extra ventilation bricks to give a good cross flow for air to circulate throughout the sub floor. You may also need to have an AG drain installed along the wet side of the house.
So there you are, you know what to look for and you know where to look for it, so if these stains on the walls and ceilings and around plumbing fittings are obviously mould stains usually real dirty looking with that musty damp smell, immediately get the services of a registered mould expert to eradicate and kill the mould once and for all. I am told that steam cleaning to kill the mould is the best way.
See also BLOGS on this site – “Mould Problems”, “What Causes Mould & Mildew Growth”.
However if you have a roofspace condensation problem you will need an effective roof ventilation system.
Universal Tile Ventilators have the best systems in the world for removing the problems of roofspace condensation.
Universal Tile Ventilators for concrete and terracotta tiled roofs and the Smoothline Ventilation System for corrugated colorbond roofing.