How to prevent mould

How to prevent mould

Mould has its place in nature. It helps break down organic matter like leaves and dead plants, adding nutrients to the soil and allowing for new growth. It can cause serious problems when it makes its way into your home, however.

Mould can cause health issues ranging from the moderate to the severe when allowed to persist in your home for too long. Symptoms can include respiratory issues, sinus congestion, eye and throat irritation, headaches, and more.

When it comes to mould, prevention is preferable over trying to remove mould once it has gained a foothold in your home. Here are seven tips to help you prevent mould from forming in your home in the first place.

Tip #1: Use an exhaust fan in the bathroom.

Your bathroom can be the dampest room in your entire house, which makes it a potential source for mould. It’s especially important to make sure air circulates in the bathroom; if you have an exhaust fan, use it while you shower, and leave it running for a few minutes after you’ve finished helping draw out any residual moisture.

If you don’t have an exhaust fan, you should consider having one installed. In the meantime, however, you can open a window to vent moisture outside, if you have one in your bathroom.

Tip #2: Use a dehumidifier.

You ideally want to keep humidity levels in your home between 30 to 60 per cent. Anything more than that can create the right conditions for mould growth. Using a dehumidifier, especially in areas more prone to dampness like the bathroom, can help keep mould at bay.

Tip #3: Don’t hang clothes to dry inside.

There is inherent moisture in the air of all homes; adding to that moisture by leaving clothes to dry inside is like offering an open invitation for mould to move in.

Instead, hang clothes outdoors when possible, and use a dryer where laundering instructions permit. Mould can start growing within two days on damp materials, so be sure to dry wet materials as quickly as possible.

Tip #4: Fix plumbing leaks as soon as they’re identified.

If your plumbing has any leaks, or is merely old and beginning to deteriorate, the implications reach far beyond what the naked eye can see. The resulting moisture and condensation that can form is the perfect breeding ground for mould.

Identifying pipes that need to be replaced can be tricky since the pipes are sometimes hidden behind gyprock, but there are signs you can look for. If you notice stained or sagging walls, ceiling or flooring, it’s a possible sign of a hidden water leak that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

Tip #5: Ensure proper airflow in your subfloor.

If you have a subfloor area with a dirt floor, moisture coming up from the ground can make the space perpetually damp, which can create an entry point for mould in your home. Even in a relatively dry crawlspace, a persistent leak can keep an isolated area, such as a section of the band joist, wet enough for mould to grow.

To prevent this, it is crucial to maintain proper air movement in your subfloor by installing a mechanical ventilation system that will help dry out damp areas and keep them that way.

Tip #6: Make sure water is draining away from your home, not towards it.

Water that drains toward your house will, over time, permeate your home’s foundation and exterior, if not properly prevented. Make sure the ground surrounding your home is graded to direct water away from the foundation when it rains and install extra gutters if necessary to further route water away from your home.

If you’re still having trouble with water coming in after taking the above measures, consider installing a vapour barrier and sump pump system that will repel and collect excess water before it can cause mould.

Tip #7: Maintain clear and clean gutters at all times.

Your home’s gutters are an essential part of your defence against water entering your home, redirecting rainwater safely away from your home’s foundation. It is vital that you maintain clear gutters so they can do their job correctly.

Clean your gutters of debris every 3 – 6 months, and repair leaks as soon as you notice them. If you can’t repair the leak, consider replacing the failing section of gutter to keep your water defence system performing at its peak.

Conclusion

It’s impossible to completely eradicate mould from your home but with a few simple maintenance tips, you can take steps to prevent it from developing and causing you and your family unwanted, and potentially dangerous, health problems.

The most important thing to remember when looking to prevent mould is that it needs moisture to survive and grow. Keeping your home dry through proper air circulation and ventilation, by cleaning up spills and damp areas quickly, and by fixing leaks as soon as they’re noticed will go a long way toward preventing mould from forming.

Once mould gains a foothold in your home, it is challenging and costly to remove, so it is well worth the minimal effort required to prevent it from forming in the first place.

If you have a mould problem call PureProtect for a quote on 1800 664 602.