Mould: the causes, remedies, and preventions

Thanun BuranapongMould is a microorganism which spreads via spores floating about in the air, and which loves moist, warm, organic environments. It will only become visible once it has been growing for quite a while and you pull the sofa away from the wall in search of a missing sock.

Where a mould infestation happens, it’s important to figure out the cause of the moisture and any invisible mould which may exist. If your home smells particularly musty or earthy, you may find that you have mould hidden behind furniture, wallpaper, claddings, or heavy curtains. The resistance of mould to extreme conditions such as dryness, strong heat, or frost makes mould a survivor of the spore world. Dried mould stains should be treated as damp ones, as they will revitalise if brought into contact with moisture again.

Causes and remedies

There are two main reasons for mould growing indoors. They are:

  1. Structural shortcomings.

    Mould is a great fan of dampness and humidity. Structural issues such as water damage, insufficiently dried new builds, cold bridges, cracks in the masonry, slipped roofing tiles, overflowing gutters, or rising moisture due to missing or defective horizontal water stops can provide sources of humidity. Using a breathable paint will help to rid your home of excess moisture.

  2. Home-made problems. The problem with mould is often home-made. Ventilation and heating usually have something to do with its existence, especially in houses which have been airproofed in accordance with the new Energy Savings Ordnance. It is quite common for people to underestimate the amount of water expelled into our homes during a single day.
    We will usually generate around 1.5 litres of water in the air when we shower, and another litre in sweat throughout the night. Plants also contribute, as does cooking and clothes-drying. The moisture must be allowed outside to prevent dampness.Remember that correct ventilation is no use without heating. Warm air absorbs more moisture than cool air, so more moisture is transported outside.

Avoiding Damp

To stop damp from developing, keep the relative air humidity at approximately 50% by using controlled ventilation systems, for example.

Heat each room equally, as the temperature difference between rooms should be no greater than 5°C.

Doors leading into cooler rooms such as bathrooms should be kept closed so as to prevent warm and damp air from the other rooms from condensing on the walls and mirrors.

Cross ventilate rooms several times each day for 5-10 minutes each time between November and March, and for 10-25 minutes between April and October. Permanently ventilating by keeping window constantly ajar is not the best idea, not least due to the potential heating costs.

Keep cellars ventilated. Windows and doors should be closed in summer, and should provide a sufficient draught in winter. Only ventilate basements if the outdoor temperature falls below the indoor wall temperature.

Get rid of moisture from showering or cooking to the outside immediately, and try not to hang your washed clothes  indoors as the water gets trapped.

Use water permeable construction materials and wall coverings such as all of the AURO wall paints range.

antimouldWhen placing furniture, leave at least 5cm between the pieces and the walls.

If you already have mould, the sooner you tackle it the better. A badly infested area needs to be treated as soon as it can be as mould spores are released with each air movement. Conventional mould removers will often contain nasty chlorine compounds which really only replace one health risk with another. AURO anti-mould products are free of chlorine and toxic evaporations but eliminate mould very well.

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