Preventing Mould Before It Starts: A Step-by-Step Guide
by Aussie Pharma Direct,
8 min reading time
A healthy home goes beyond the surface, extending to the air you breathe. Did you know there's a link between mould and health issues? When we talk about health, we're not merely referring to the occasional sniffle or cough. If left unaddressed, mould can lead to a range of health issues.
In the upcoming sections, we'll explore actionable steps and strategies to prevent mould growth from gaining a foothold in your home - from simple daily habits to more comprehensive measures.
The importance of mould prevention
Understanding the significance of mould prevention goes beyond maintaining a clean and visually appealing living space. It's a crucial aspect of ensuring the overall health and well-being of your home, and here are the reasons why:
Health concerns - Certain types of mould release spores that, when inhaled, may lead to respiratory issues, allergies, or other health concerns.
Structural integrity - Mould has a not-so-friendly relationship with building materials. Over time, it can compromise the structural integrity of your home, leading to potential damages. By preventing mould growth, you're essentially preserving the longevity and durability of your living space.
Financial benefits - Now, let's talk dollars and cents. Preventing mould-related damages can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Remediation costs in Australia for extensive mould issues can be substantial.
Property value - A mould-free home holds higher market appeal. When it’s time to sell, potential buyers are more likely to be attracted to a property that has a clean bill of health.
Common types of mould found in homes
Mould is a multicellular organism that reproduces through spores. These spores are present virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. They can enter buildings through windows, doors, and HVAC systems, or attach to clothing and pets. In indoor environments, mould can establish colonies on various surfaces, especially where there is moisture and an organic food source.
There are thousands of mould species, but certain types are more commonly found in homes. Some of these include:
Stachybotrys chartarum (Black mould) - This type of mould is often associated with water damage and can produce mycotoxins that may pose health risks.
Aspergillus - Commonly found indoors, Aspergillus can cause respiratory infections in individuals with weakened immune systems.
Cladosporium - This mould can grow in both warm and cold conditions and is often found on fabrics, carpets, and wood surfaces.
Penicillium - While some species of Penicillium are used to produce antibiotics, others can cause indoor mould issues and may be allergenic.
What causes mould? Ideal conditions for mould growth
Mould requires specific conditions to thrive, and understanding these factors is essential for prevention. The key factors include:
Moisture - Mould needs moisture to grow, and any source of water or dampness can contribute to its development. Leaks, flooding, high humidity, and condensation are common culprits.
Temperature - Mould can grow in a wide range of temperatures, but it typically thrives in temperatures between 77°F (25°C) and 86°F (30°C).
Organic material - Mould feeds on organic materials such as wood, paper, and fabric. These materials provide the nutrients necessary for mould growth.
Stagnant air - Poor ventilation can contribute to the accumulation of moisture and create an environment conducive to mould growth.
Tips for mould prevention
1. Moisture control
Proper ventilation: Ensuring adequate ventilation is crucial in preventing the buildup of moisture. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove steam and cooking fumes. Additionally, make sure that your home is well-ventilated by opening windows and doors regularly to promote air circulation.
Address leaks promptly: Any form of water leakage, be it from plumbing, roofs, or windows, should be addressed promptly. Regularly inspect your home for leaks, and repair them as soon as they are detected to prevent moisture from accumulating.
Use dehumidifiers in damp areas: Dehumidifiers are effective tools for reducing humidity levels in areas prone to dampness, such as basements and crawl spaces. Running a dehumidifier can help maintain the relative humidity below 60%, creating an environment less conducive to mould growth.
Use SAN-AIR Mould Gone for targeted prevention:SAN-AIR Mould Gone is a water-based gel designed to be placed in areas susceptible to mould growth, effortlessly evaporating into the air and spreading throughout indoor spaces to combat microbial invaders. The gel provides protection for up to three months, offering a sustained defence against mould. We recommend using the SAN-AIR Portable Nano Atomizer or the SAN-AIR Air Diffuser to distribute SAN-AIR products throughout the room
Using SAN-AIR Mould Gone
Using SAN-AIR Mould Gone is a simple and effective process:
Determine areas in your home that are prone to moisture and mould growth. These may include bathrooms, basements, closets, and areas near leak-prone appliances.
Peel the seal of the SAN-AIR Mould Gone container and place it in the identified moisture-prone area. The gel will gradually evaporate into the air, releasing active ingredients that work to prevent mould growth.
2. Regular cleaning and maintenance
Regular dusting and vacuuming: Dust and vacuum your home regularly to remove dust, dirt, and other debris that can serve as a food source for mould.
Inspect and clean HVAC systems: Regularly inspect and clean your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to prevent mould spores from circulating through the air.
Clean and dry wet items promptly: Dry wet items promptly, whether it's wet clothes, towels, or carpets. Mould can begin to grow on damp materials within 24-48 hours.
Clean and maintain gutters: Keep gutters clear of debris to prevent water from accumulating on the roof and around the foundation.
Seal and insulate: Properly seal and insulate your home to prevent condensation and reduce the risk of moisture buildup.
Use mould-resistant products: Consider using mould-resistant paint and building materials, especially in areas prone to moisture, like bathrooms and basements.
Clean and disinfect bathrooms: Pay attention to grout lines and corners.
Inspect and clean refrigerator drip pans: Mould can grow in refrigerator drip pans. Regularly inspect and clean them to prevent mould growth.
For better cleaning and maintaining mould-free surfaces, consider using a mould prevention spray like the SAN-AIR Mould Gone to neutralise toxic mould and mildew, including removing odours.
For air conditioner and other hard surfaces: Spray SAN-AIR Surface Mould Remover on hard surfaces. For your air-conditioner, this includes vents, coils, and any other accessible parts. Leave it for 15 minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth or sponge.
3. Improve the air purity of your AC units
The insides of your air-conditioner can become breeding grounds for mould, leading to the potential spread of airborne contaminants throughout your living space. Mould spores can thrive in the cool, damp environment of air-conditioning systems, and when the unit is in operation, these spores can be dispersed into the air, affecting the overall air quality. To address this issue and improve the air purity of your AC units, SAN-AIR offers specialised products designed to purify and sanitise the internals of different types of air-conditioning systems.
Using SAN-AIR products for air purity:
For ducted systems - SAN-AIR Mould Remover:Tear the seal from the container and place it in the air return of your ducted system. Close all doors and windows, then run the air-conditioner for a couple of hours. This process helps sanitise the internals of the system immediately.
For Split System units - SAN-AIR Split System Reactive Gel: Tear the seal from the container of SAN-AIR Split System Reactive Gel and place the container inside the split system air-conditioner. Close all doors and windows, then run the air-conditioner for a couple of hours.
In essence, mould not only poses a threat to the structural integrity of your dwelling but also to the well-being of its occupants. The respiratory issues, allergies, and potential long-term health risks associated with mould exposure emphasise the urgency of proactive prevention. By adopting simple yet effective strategies, you can fortify your home against the pervasive threat of mould.