Mould is a fungal growth.
It grows in homes under the right conditions of dampness, darkness and poor ventilation. It is prominent in bathrooms, kitchens, cluttered storage areas, basements, walls, timber, carpet, furniture and furnishings. These all harbour mould if they remain damp for a period of time. It can cause adverse health effects.
Not everyone is adversely affected by mould, but it can emit particles that may cause people to sneeze. Toxic moulds produce mycotoxins and they can be a serious health risk. Exposure to high levels of mycotoxins may lead to neurological problems. Prolonged exposure may be particularly harmful.
Symptoms caused by mould allergy may include:
If you have persistent health problems that may be mould-related, it is advised that you visit your GP. They can refer you to a practitioner trained in environmental medicine, or related specialties, who is knowledgeable about these types of exposures.
Older houses may have ongoing problems with dampness because of structural breakdown such as: Broken roof tiles, poor cavity wall ventilation, rising damp.
Causes of Dampness and Condensation
(1) Ingress of Water – Leaks from sinks, baths and shower and their related piping where water may seep under floorboards or get in unseen places like behind built-in cupboards etc.
(2) Penetrating & Rising Damp – usually caused by non-existent or defective damp proof courses, blocked external drains or water pooling near the house foundations.
(3) Condensation – This occurs where moist warm air comes into contact with colder dryer air or a surface, which is at a lower temperature. Air contains water vapour in varying quantities; its capacity to do so is related to its temperature – warm air holds more moisture than cold air. When moist air comes into contact with either colder air or a colder surface, the air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture and the water is released to form condensation in the air or on the surface.
Condensation is generally noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces (i.e. windows, windowsills, mirrors or tiles) but it can form on any surface and it may not be noticed until mould growth or rotting of material occurs.
Houses in Ireland have become effectively sealed boxes, keeping in any moisture produced within the house and providing ideal conditions for condensation to occur.
Ventilation is only effective if it is consistent throughout the whole house. Condensation is encouraged by poor air circulation where stagnant air pockets form (behind furniture and in cupboards) and the first evidence is often the appearance of mould growth and a musty smell on clothes in wardrobes. The warm moist air rises to the highest points in the building, forming condensation in those areas, which are often coldest, including bedrooms, wardrobes and upstairs bathrooms and toilets etc.
Buildings may lack or have insufficient airbricks to allow adequate under floor or attic ventilation, which is vital to prevent mould growth and timber rot problems.
Keeping the moist air in the house through effective draft proofing aggravates the effect of moisture generation. It is theoretically possible to avoid condensation altogether by adequately venting moist air from the room in which it is generated.
In certain areas of a house (such as bathrooms and kitchens) the warm air contains a lot of moisture; if that air then spreads to cooler parts of the house it condenses on any colder surface.
The best way to prevent mould in the home is the control of moisture!
You can get a SURVEY of your property with Mould Solutions.