With winter comes mould. But with good management by you and your tenants working together, this can be eliminated.
So let’s learn about mould, what is it and how can you reduce it during winter.
Mould is a type of fungus that grows in damp areas inside and outside the home. It usually appears as green,grey, brown, black, white or red growth or stains on walls, ceilings and other surfaces. It appears in speckled patches or streaks that become larger as it grows.
Why does mould need to be cleaned away when it starts to grow?
Small amounts of mould are common in most houses in New Zealand and usually don’t cause any health concerns. However, when mould is left to grow in large quantities it can cause serious health problems. This is because mould releases thousands of very tiny or invisible spores (like tiny seeds) into the air. These spores can cause serious health issues when breathed in, especially for elderly people and infants, people with weak immune systems or people suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems. Some mould produces highly poisonous spores which can be life threatening when breathed in, even in small amounts.
What causes mould?
Mould needs moisture to live – it grows when there is dampness in or on a surface (such as walls, ceilings, floors, curtains or furniture) for a prolonged period of time. If there is a lot of mould in a house, it means there is too much moisture in the air, or there may be a water leak or splashes that have not been dried. However, the most common cause of excess moisture is condensation. Condensation is dampness on walls, ceilings, floors, windows or window sills. It happens when wet, warm air such as cooking or bathroom steam (or even the warm air from your breathing), touches cold surfaces. This causes water to form.
How can you stop mould growing?
The most important thing is to reduce moisture in your house. This will help stop mould growing. There are lots of ways you can reduce moisture:
Reduce condensation, wipe condensation that occurs off windows and walls.
Don’t leave damp towels on the window sill to dry.
Open a few windows slightly throughout the house for 1-2 hours a day when you’re home so air can circulate. On sunny days, open windows and doors for longer to let in plenty of fresh air.
When showering, open a window in the bathroom a little or use an extractor fan.
While someone is home, leave the window open for a while after your shower to let steam and condensation clear.
When heating you home, try not to use Portable gas heaters as they create a lot of moisture in the house. If you need to use them, always open windows slightly.
he best form of heating to use is dry heat to heat your home, a fireplace or an electric heater.