Sunday, May 25, 2014

Facts about indoor mould

Some Facts About Indoor Mould

What Is Mould?

Here are some facts about indoor mould:

It is a common term used to refer to some types of fungi. Fungi also include mushrooms (or toadstools) and yeast.

Fungi are found both indoors and outdoors. They used to be classified together with plants.

Moulds can be differentiated to some extent by their colours such as green, blue, black and white. However, this is not a very reliable way of identifying the type of mould since there are several types of that are similar in colour.

Mould may appear furry, slimy or powdery. Some have musty, stale or earthy odours. Odours are indicators of microbial growth and hence moisture problems in the building.

For it to grow, mould needs water, oxygen and food. It can grow almost anywhere there is water, high humidity or damp conditions. Some require more water than others. The types that require more water are generally used as indicators of moisture damage.

Some people are sensitive to moulds. The most common symptoms of mould exposure are cough, congestion, runny nose or trouble breathing. It can also worsen asthma symptoms or other allergies.

Black and White Mould

Bleach and other and chemicals may kill mould but it may still cause allergic reactions to sensitive individuals. Bleach is also not recommended since if not properly used it can be dangerous to the health of occupants.

The major route of indoor mould expore is through inhalation of airborne spores, fungal fragments and mycotoxins. Moulds release tiny spores and fragments which travel through the air.  Often attached to these are mycotoxins and allergens which are the main ways that mould affects humans.

Painting over mould is not recommended since it will not kill or seal it up.

Not all mould is visible. Therefore, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean that you don’t have it.

The best way to control mould growth is to remove the water and moisture sources.

Before you consider mould clean-up you should detect and repair the moisture source first. Otherwise it will return.

In nature moulds break down organic material and recycle nutrients in the environment.  However, moulds digest organic material and gradually destroy whatever they grow on even your furniture, walls and floor if they get wet.

Visible mould on surfaces can easily be recognized by various discolorations such as green, grey, brown, or black, even white and other colours.

How are you exposed to mould spores?

We are all exposed to some levels of spores on a daily basis, both indoors and outdoors without harm. It is common to find spores in the air inside homes and offices mostly from outdoor sources. In summer outdoor spore counts are several times higher than those of indoor environment. Spores usually enter into the indoor environment through open doors and windows.

Mould spores primarily cause health problems when they are present in large numbers and people inhale so many of them. This occurs primarily when there is active mould growth within the home, office, workplaces or school where people live or work.

People can also be exposed to mould by touching contaminated materials, pets and by eating contaminated foods. If touching contaminated materials, always wear gloves.

How To Clean-up Mould

Small amounts of mould can easily be cleaned up by use of household detergent and water. It is important to ensure that the cleaned surface is dried completely after clean-up. No special training would be required to clean small amounts of mould (10 square feet or less). However, for large amounts (more than 10 square feet), seeking professional help is advised. Even when cleaning small amounts, it is important to an appropriate mask and gloves for personal protection.

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