Breathe easy by reducing mould in your home
Over 45% of our homes have visible mould which can have a huge impact on our health contributing to asthma and respiratory illness problems. However there are simple, economic ways to combat mould and breathe easy. Its all about reducing the amount of moisture in your home.
Excessive dampness in your home can lead to mould growth and have a direct effect on your health. Mould is a type of fungi and grows in warm, damp, preferable dark environments with an organic food to eat.
Moisture in our homes comes from many sources:
- typically cooking produces 3 litres per day
- 1.5 litres of moisture per person per baths or shower
- breathing (depending on your level of activity) up to 1 litres per 5 hours
- drying a load of clothes inside 5 litres per load
- unflued gas heaters up to 1 litres per hour
- plus, dish and clothes washing and indoor plants
External sources of moisture include:
- leaks in walls and roofs
- rising damp from under floors. Typically 30-40 litres of moisture comes up under a typical wooden floored home daily.
Mould removal starts with drying out your home and killing the mould and its spores.
Initially it’s about how we limit and remove this excess moisture from our homes.
- flush ventilating your home for a minimum of 15-20 minutes each day,
- using range hoods (600 x 600 fully hooded models),
- bathroom extractors (150mm dia with a 20 minute timer) are vented to the outside,
- clothes driers that are vented to the outside,
- closing the bathroom door so any steam does not blow back in to your home,
- wiping up excessive window condensation,
- use a dehumidifier as required,
- a damp proof membrane installed on the ground under your home,
- develop an on-going home maintenance program.
Mould in the home can be removed using a mix of 70% white vinegar with 30 % water,
which is sprayed on to the mouldy surfaces and left for 15 minutes. The vinegar and mould are removed with hot soapy water. This will need to be repeated if the mould returns or until the humidity levels in the home are reduced.
When cleaning off mould wear a dust mask and gloves especially if you have respiratory issues.