What are the risks of mould?
Posted on 1st February 2023 at 15:57
Mould isn’t just unpleasant and unwelcome, it’s dangerous. Some household moulds release dangerous toxins into the air that cause allergic reactions and even lead to long-term health problems. Furthermore, if left unchecked, it will cause damage to the organic structure of your home.
Where does mould come from?
Mould is a type of fungus that grows flat and in large patches. It spreads through microscopic spores released into the air. These spores can travel over large distances and remain dormant until they find a suitable place to grow. Damp environments with poor airflow are perfect for mould to take hold.
In homes, mould is commonly found on the walls and ceilings of bathrooms. Showering and bathing release water vapour into the air. If the bathroom isn’t well ventilated through a window or extractor fan, the water vapour will condense on cool surfaces and eventually soak through. This leads to damp patches.
If mould spores collect in these patches they start to grow very quickly. Spores can be blown into your home with the breeze or even carried in on your clothing. Unfortunately, only a few spores need to settle for a colony to start growing.
If you already have mould in your home, it will spread rapidly. At first, mould will be hard to spot. However, after about 3 weeks the colony will have spread enough to be visible black patches on walls. After some time, it will develop white filaments which are the fruiting bodies of the mould. These filaments then release more spores into the air to repeat the process.
The health risks of mould
The two main health-damaging by-products of mould are mycotoxins and spores. These spores are often allergens. When inhaled, they cause irritation and swelling of the respiratory tract. This is dangerous for those with asthma and other respiratory issues. While everyone is susceptible to reactions from inhaling mould spores, those with weaker immune systems, such as elderly people and children, are at higher risk.
Stachybotrys Chartarum, otherwise known as black mould, release mycotoxins that cause serious reactions in people. Commonly reported issues include nasal irritation, burning and congestion, chest tightness, and dyspnea. Central nervous system issues are also possible. These include headaches, light-headedness, sleeping difficulty, and mental fatigue.
Mould brings with it a host of health risks, making it vitally important to recognise and eradicate it before it takes hold.
When left unchecked, mould will cause damage to your home. Mould spores consume organic matter, of which there is plenty in the structure of your property. As a result, materials decompose and become weak.
When the structural integrity of these supports become compromised, your home will be seriously damaged.
Dealing with mould
When dealing with mould, make sure to wear eye protection, gloves, and a mask. Some types of mould can be cleaned using a bleach dilute and cloth. Make sure to dispose of any cleaning materials so it doesn’t spread to other areas.
If you suspect you have black mould in your home, it is important to have it dealt with professionally as its toxic spores are harmful to everyone in your household.
Unfortunately, merely cleaning the surface is not enough to permanently rid your home of mould. To reduce the chance of it returning, you must get rid of damp patches and environments where it grows.
Reduce moisture in the air by improving ventilation. Open windows to allow moist air to escape and keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed to prevent moisture traveling to other rooms. Make sure to keep your carpets clean and free of musty smells. Also, avoid drying your laundry inside. Keep extractor fans clean and in good working order and use dehumidifiers if you need to bring the humidity down further.
Mould is an unwanted houseguest that brings many risks along with it. It’s important you don’t invite it to stay. If you suspect mould in your home, get in touch with us today for advice or a free damp survey.
Call us on 01604 652 920.
Share this post: