Most children in the UK learn facts about mould in school, in particular Penicillium, the mould from which penicillin is derived. Everyone has seen green, fuzzy mould on bread, fruit or other food at one in point time. But what about the mould that develops along the grout in a bathroom or along a wall? Mould in the home can cause material and structural damage and be a health hazard, so it is important to know the facts. That’s why the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore have compiled 19 facts about mould everyone needs to know:
- Mould needs moisture to grow – Outdoors, mould grows in the soil, on vegetation and on decaying materials. Indoors, mould thrives in damp, moist conditions like bathrooms, basements or even behind the plasterboard when there’s been water damage.
- Mildew is mould – That white-grey, powdery stuff that sometimes appears on the leaves of plants is mildew, an early stage of mould.
- There are four common types of indoor mould: Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium.
- Often, mould found in a home appears greenish-grey, brownish-green, grey and even black – You may find slimy green mould on the exterior growing on vinyl siding located in an area that receives little to no sun. This mould usually can be removed with a power washer.
- Mould, a fungi, spreads by spores – These act as seeds to form new mould colonies.
- Some mould spores contain toxins that can cause health issues when inhaled – People with mould allergies, pregnant women, anyone suffering from asthma, or has a compromised immune system or respiratory conditions shouldn’t be exposed to mould. This is why mould remediation by professionals is essential.
- It can cause flu-like symptoms – Reactions to mould may include, but are not limited to, headache, fever, cough, wheezing and other flu-like symptoms. It can trigger asthma attacks as well.
- The terms “toxic mould” or “black mould” refer to Stachybotrys chartarum – Typically, it’s greenish-black in colour and develops after a space has suffered heavy water damage. It, and all other kinds of mould, needs to be removed safely by professionals trained in mould removal.
- Mould on a shower curtain or in the tile’s grout around a bathtub can be removed by a homeowner –Bleach removes mould, but remember to only use it in a room that’s well-ventilated. Also, some types of tile will etch with bleach contact, so make sure to spot check the bleach before using around the entire tub.
- Proper ventilation is key to reducing mould growth – Running a bathroom fan can help reduce the development of mould in the room. Open glass shower doors to allow ventilation and never bunch a shower curtain, instead keep it open so it can dry thoroughly. Remember, mould needs moisture for growth.
- A musty, mildew-y smell in the basement is not natural – It’s likely mould due to water damage, a cracked foundation or leaking pipes. If that musty, mildew-y smell is present in your home, it’s important to locate the source of the smell or the location of the mould.
- Keeping indoor humidity levels below 45% can inhibit mould growth.
- Condensation on windows, walls and other hard surfaces is a sign of high humidity in the home, which increases the risk for mould development.
- After a water damage event (flood, burst pipe, firefighting efforts), mould can begin to grow as soon as 24 to 48 hours.
- Mildew, a type of mould, easily develops on cardboard, books and even fabrics – Store old clothes and other items in water-resistant containers instead of cardboard boxes to reduce the risk for mould growth.
- Mildew often can be brushed off of fabrics like curtains and clothing.
- After a home flood, mould can grow in many unseen places including behind plasterboard, within insulation, or on carpet padding.
- Adding mould-inhibitors to paint before painting can reduce the potential for mould growth.
- ServiceMaster Restore offers complete mould performed safely and effectively by professionals.
If you have noticed some mould growth in your home that you want to be rid of, why not call in the experts by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business here or call our 24-hour line on 0845 762 6828
Credit: Tom Page, Digital Content Writer – ServiceMaster