The ongoing rain and floods along the east coast of Australia have had a significant impact on the lives of thousands of Australians, and beyond the obvious devastating flooding, another insidious visitor has taken up residence in our homes – mould.
Mould loves moisture, especially moisture that hangs around, giving it time to grow. More and more people are discovering mould in their homes, most obviously on walls and floors, but also hidden in unseen places like under carpeting, inside cupboards, in basements and roof spaces and behind walls.
Bathrooms, kitchens and laundries are prime offenders due to poor ventilation, as well as humidity caused by frequent water usage and steam from hot showers.
What is mould and how does it affect us?
Moulds are among the most widespread living organisms. They are microscopic fungi made up of clusters of filaments which reproduce by releasing spores into the air. When inhaled, these airborne spores can exacerbate asthma, cause a flare of allergic rhinitis symptoms such as sneezing, a runny or blocked nose or wheezing, create a chronic cough, and can cause headaches and tiredness and itchy rashes.
What can you do to remove it?
Mould is one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution in Australia, but it is treatable. One of the best things you can do is to invest in a quality air purifier to remove the spores from the air you breathe before it has a chance to get established.
We spend most of our time indoors, especially now so many are working from home, so you really want to stop mould in its tracks.
However, if you are going to buy an air purifier, make sure you get one with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter like the InovaAir E8, E20 or DE20. All InovaAir Air Purifiers contain H13 HEPA certified medical grade filters that are certified to filter 99.95% @ 0.3 microns and tested down to 0.003 microns at 100% efficiency to remove mould, dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses, smoke and any airborne particles down to 0.3 microns.
Another important feature of the InovaAir Purifier is the high-capacity activated carbon filter which removes microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) from the air. These compounds are caused by the decay off-gassing of moulds, bacteria and biofilm as they are growing, resulting in the familiar unpleasant dank, musty odour of mould.
Other ways to reduce mould in the home
Ventilation is key. Open windows and doors and let the fresh air and sunshine in wherever possible. Exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries are a big help. Keep indoor moisture low and maintain low constant heat when the weather is cold or wet.
Removal of mould
Beyond using an air purifier, it’s best to eradicate mould when it occurs, as the longer it is there, the harder it is to get rid of. Bleach is not effective in killing mould as a background level of spores will remain and it will grow back. Try a solution of two teaspoons of tea tree oil in two cups of water sprayed on mould. Leave for an hour, then scrub and follow up with a surface cleaner.
Alternatively, you can mix one part of vinegar with one part water and spray it onto the mouldy area. Leave for one hour, then wipe down with a damp cloth.
Taking control of your indoor air quality and removing harmful mould, bacteria, viruses, dust, pollen, MVOCs, smoke and airborne particles from the air is an important first step in reclaiming your good health. For enquiries about the Australian made InovaAir Purifier range, visit this page here.