Be Vigilant – Mould is Moving Into Our Homes this Winter! 

La Niña has brought torrential rain and high humidity creating the perfect breeding ground for toxic mould. So what do you need to know and how can you get rid of it?

As the east coast of Australia experiences a lashing of wet weather combined with high humidity and a lack of airflow, we now have the perfect breeding ground for mould.

The recent wild weather has encouraged an epidemic of mould breaking out in homes.  If you haven’t already noticed it, start looking.

Places to look include anything made from fabric like carpets, curtains, cushions, blinds, clothing, shoes, fake flower arrangements and mattresses, like under a baby’s cot.  Wooden floors, untreated wood, wooden furniture, plaster ceilings are also places to look.  There’s so many places mould can lodge and grow if there is moisture, particularly the ‘wet’ areas of your home like bathrooms, kitchens and laundries which all require ventilation even when the weather is perfect.

What is mould?
Mould is a type of fungi that is present virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.  But it can become a big problem once it finds places to grow inside your home and the recent warm humid weather is the perfect environment for mould to spread.

Any damp ares in your home will be susceptible to mould growth and is mainly due to lack of ventilation.

How do you stop the spread of mould in your home?
There are 3 main steps in controlling mould;
1. Keep your home dry and aired
2. Keep the home clean and free from dust
3. Eliminate dampness 

• Use exhaust fans and range hoods to extract moisture from all ‘wet areas’ such as bathrooms, kitchens  and laundries.
• Cleaning, vacuuming and dusting regularly helps to keep bacteria (food for mould) to a minimum.
• Clothes dryers create condensation in the air and will increase mould growth throughout the home unless ventilated.
• Drying washing inside on clothes racks allows moisture to evaporate into the air increasing humidity which leads to mould growth.
• In winter it’s important to open windows and cross ventilate any property regularly on DRY days, between 10 am and 2 pm, for at least an hour.
• Ceiling fans also help to dry out condensation.
• Gas heating/cooking (Unflued) is considered to be a ‘wet’ heat therefore  increases condensation.  This is evident on windows.
• Electric heating is considered a dry heat and helps keep condensation and humidity levels low. Use the appliance for a short period in damp rooms, usually the rooms on the southern side.
• The use of an air conditioner, when used correctly, reduces condensation.
• A dehumidifier (portable) may help to reduce condensation. 

Whenever condensation forms on the inside of glass windows and remains there after mid-day this is a sure sign that inside your home is just way too wet.

Warning
Specialists warn that using bleach on mould can help the mould to grow as it uses bleach as a food source. Using a dilute solution of vinegar to kill the mould is more effective. Borax and baking soda can also be used effectively.

There are lots of simple ways to control moisture and therefore mould and the secret is living a little drier!

Prevention is more efficient than removal so keep your home dry and free of dust.