No matter how well you clean your house, the spores that grow into the mould are everywhere. They are microscopic and unavoidable. However, you can prevent these spores from multiplying and growing into a mould in your home.
Dryness is a significant enemy of mould growth. So, curtailing moisture is a huge part of conquering a mould problem. You may be wondering, “Does heating prevent mould?” The answer is yes. While mould loves wet and warm places, dry and heated conditions are unappealing. Ideally, you should keep all the rooms in your home above 14 degrees Celsius. However, your bathroom should be kept warmer than 23 degrees Celsius.
Why Does Mould Grow in the Bathroom?
As unpleasant as it may sound, your bathroom is the ideal environment for mould spores to live, grow, and multiply. The spores require a wet environment to survive. In addition to the typical bathroom moisture, most bathrooms are comfortably warm. The warmth speeds up the growth of mould, and it is easy to see how a colony of mould would flourish in this environment.
Like all living things, the mould in your bathroom must eat, and your bathroom is full of specks of organic matter, like skin cells and dust. So, you can see why the bathroom is the top place to find mould in your home.
Types of Household Mould
There are several types of mould commonly found in the home. Many are not especially harmful and may only cause itchy eyes or sneezing. However, some kinds of mould are toxic, even to healthy individuals. So, knowing the various moulds is vital for your health and safety. There are three threat levels of a common mould.
- Allergenic Mould – This mould has the lowest threat level and is common in most homes. Generally, the main health problems caused by this type of mould include mild allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, itchy, watery eyes, and skin irritation. These all tend to be shades ranging from black to brown to brownish-grey and white.
- Pathogenic Mould – The threat level of pathogenic mould is moderate. Typically, reactions include heavy coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. The most severe reactions are in small children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Specific pathogenic moulds, such as Cryptococcus species, range in colour from red, orange, and pale yellow to brown and black.
- Toxigenic Mould – As the name suggests, this mould has the highest threat level of all common moulds. The classification includes Stachybotrys chart arum. This is the notorious black mould mentioned in the media. The colours of toxigenic mould range from green to grey and black. However, toxic mould is distinguished by a slimy and shiny appearance regardless of the colour. Professionals should remove these types of mould as they can cause severe reactions, including respiratory failure.
Ten Tips to Prevent Mould
- Find and repair any plumbing leaks right away. To learn how you can detect leaks in your home quickly, check out our blog on leak detection.
- Ensure your home has good ventilation and that exhaust fans work efficiently.
- Avoid carpeting in areas that have a high moisture content.
- Prevent mould on the ceiling by increasing ventilation to areas prone to collect moisture. Your goal to prevent mould is to reduce condensation, especially on bathroom ceilings. Whether you open windows or use an exhaust fan, you need to dry the area as quickly as possible.
- Add mould inhibitors to paints before painting. These are available at most home improvement stores or online.
- Maintain low humidity levels in your home all day and all night to prevent mould. Ideally, aim for no more than 50 per cent humidity if possible. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help reduce the moisture in your home. To ensure the humidity in your house, you can buy a meter to check the levels. Remember, humidity rises and falls throughout the day, so you will need to test more than once a day for the most accurate assessment of your home’s humidity level.
- To prevent mould in your bathroom, clean with products that are made to kill mould and wash shower curtains regularly.
- Use racks in your shower to store products to prevent water collecting and mould from growing.
- Repair leaks in the roof or walls of your home
- If your home should flood, clean and dry any moisture right away. Replace furniture or carpeting that has been saturated with water
Water problems are a significant contributor to mould in the home. It is in your best interest to ensure your home is free from leaks and that any issues are addressed as soon as possible. Feel free to reach out to Expand Plumbing and Gas if you need assistance. Our experienced professionals can assist you in keeping your home safe and free from mould.