Updated: May 21
You cannot escape mould as it is a necessary part of the ecosystem. As a matter of fact, fungi make up 25% of the Earth’s biomass.
Although outdoor mould is not so harmful and it will not impact the quality of your life, indoor mould raises your risk of health problems. It is very important to understand that mould is allergenic, no matter which type it is. Luckily for us, not all types of mould are toxic. In order to keep mould from growing indoors, it is good to go back to how mould grows in the first place.
To start its life cycle, mould requires the following three things:
· spores (which are present in the air all the time),
· an organic food source (which can be something as simple as dust) and
· all forms of moisture (e.g. humidity, condensation, water vapor, floods, etc.).
The only effective strategy to prevent mould is to prevent moisture. Other measures you can take to ensure mould doesn’t invade your home include regular air quality tests.
Where does humidity come from?
Humidity is a common form of moisture in homes and it refers to the amount of water vapour in the air. That being said, it is important to maintain proper humidity levels in your home to keep a healthy and mould-free environment.
Since mould loves moisture, high humidity environments (above 50%) provide one of the three main elements for mould to grow. Since low humidity environment can impact your health (for example, you can blame low level of humidity for having a sore throat), it is important to keep the level of humidity between 30-50%. Humidity readers are readily available from stores and online to help you monitor your humidity levels and they are not expensive.
The level of humidity can be tested in two ways – either you will do it on your own with a hygrometer or you will call professionals to check the air quality in your home.
Once you have a good understanding of the humidity levels in your home, you are ready to take further steps to lower it down to the optimal level and keep it that way to prevent mould from growing.
Do not forget, both high and low level of humidity are harmful to your health. By controlling high level of humidity, you will control mould. In addition, by controlling low level, you will control your health.
Humidity can be caused by:
· Large quantities of water (such as floods or leaks)
· Daily activities (such as cooking, showering, drying clothes inside)
· Condensation which can appear due to differences in temperature between indoor and
Before you start wondering which daily activities you should or shouldn’t be doing, you should know that mould prevention is not about radical moves (such as stop cooking at your home), but about activities you should do to improve air circulation in your home. Opening windows even by only 10cm or putting fans on help create this air movement, as well as keeping internal doors open. These simple actions can make a huge difference.
In our next blog we'll share more detailed information on how to prevent mould from growing on your walls