Mould Prevention

Tackling mould contaminations can be a very costly endeavour and therefore taking steps in advance to prevent mould contamination in the first place is very importance. Steps should be taken at the very first signs of noticing that you feel strange in your own house and you experience some of the mould related health symptoms. Immediate steps should be taken whenever you notice changes to the decor of your home or notice building related symptoms such as odours.

Identify the root cause of the problem and risk areas.

Root cause identification can be fairly straightforward job in the more simple cases such as obvious service leak. It can however present a serious challenge if no obvious signs are present and often involve a visit from a indoor air quality specialist who will carry out a full range of test on your building.  You can steps to prevent mould contamination even before it occurs. You can identify the risk areas in your home such as damaged materials, old carpets in basement and remove, repair or apply antifungal agents on them.

Dry any water damaged and soaked materials.

Any mould requires sufficient amount of water to grow and spread. The simple truth is that if the materials are dry mould will not grow on them. If you discover any wet areas in your home you should dry them immediately. This is particularly truth is your home has suffered from service leak or a flood.  

Prevent condensation

Condensation is a sigh of elevated moisture content in the indoor air. If your home suffers from condensation you need to investigate and identify all sources of water in your home. Use ventilation whenever possible to reduce humidity to normal levels (30-50%).

The major contributors of water vapours are :

Other less significant sources are:

Use materials which are naturally mould resistant.

If you living in a home which are naturally more humid (period properties, cottages etc) think in advance about the products you going to buy to prevent mould. Having a laminate floor instead of a carpet can greatly reduce potential for mould contamination. The use of mould resistant construction materials such as paperless plasterboard can have a significant impact of mold when leaks occur. Chemical agents can be added to paint and coating to increase materials mould resistance however these should be applied with caution.  

Keep an eye on indoor humidity level.

It is important to maintain good indoor air humidity levels to prevent mould contamination. Different buildings have different natural resistance to condensation. The indoor humidity should be maintained somewhere between 30% and 50%. This can be difficult to achieve especially in England. If the relative humidity falls below 30% occupant can suffer from symptoms similar to those of mould exposure. Therefore always check your indoor relative humidity levels before considering moulds as the cause. If the humidity increase above 70% mould grown on materials is almost inevitable. It is important to understand the relationship between relative humidity and temperature. 

Take measures to protect your home

Ground slope surrounding house is an important factor in overall protection. Good degree of sloping will drain any water quickly enough before it can cause damage. Without it the water would just accumulate around the house and slowly penetrate into the foundations, basement or crawl spaces beneath the house. A mould problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Any roof elements that can accumulate debris should be cleaned on regular bases and should also be periodically inspected for signs of damage. Repairs should be carried our as quickly as possible to prevent damage.

Improve indoor air quality by ventilation

Good airflow in the house and thus good ventilation will drive out excess moisture and prevent it from condensing of walls, windows or floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. These measures are the easiest way to reduce moisture and humidity levels. Where possible a continuous ventilation, either passive or active should be provided, in particular in areas difficult to ventilate such as basements or cupboards. Certain areas may require the use of exhaust fans in areas where water vapour is created. Ventilated areas must have strong enough ventilation to ensure that adequate intake of fresh air is provided to replace the moisture loaded indoor air.