What is mould and how to prevent it?

Mould is a common issue in buildings and homes. It can spread quickly and, if left untreated, can not only impact a property’s structural integrity, but also cause a variety of health issues.

Unfortunately, mould will continue to grow unless it’s cleaned and removed. It is crucial for homeowners, landlords and residents to be aware of the implications of mould growth, taking care to remove it properly to prevent it from returning.

example of mould

What is mould?

Mould is a type of fungus that forms and spreads in various damp environments, and is caused by excess moisture. In buildings this can be a result of floods, water damage or simply a build-up of moisture over time, which is often as a result of poor ventilation.

Mould can develop in areas where everyday domestic activities such as showering, cooking and air-drying clothes indoors leads to an increase in airborne moisture.

When the conditions are conducive, mould can form anywhere from walls and in between tiles, to furniture and floorboards. It is commonly identified by dark stains or speckled areas, but other common signs of mould can include a damp, musty smell and general signs of condensation.

Mould health risks

Exposure to mould can lead to a range of health problems, including cold-like symptoms, skin rashes and dry eyes. In particular, individuals with weakened immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions are at an elevated risk of developing physical symptoms after a prolonged exposure to mould.

It is important that people are aware of the health risks associated with mould, so that they can take the necessary steps to remove it and prevent it from recurring.

How to prevent mould

While nothing can guarantee the absolute prevention of mould, the best approach is to stop it from becoming a major issue in the first place by making a property mould resistant.

The key to achieving this is moisture control. This could be as simple as quickly repairing a damaged pipe or gutter, monitoring humidity within a property and being aware of moisture producing activities like showering, bathing and cooking, and using cooker and bathroom extractor fans (where fitted), ensuring proper ventilation or even investing in the installation of mould resistant products.

What to do if you have mould

If mould or damp is spotted, it is important to find the root cause of the excess moisture. When the problem has been identified, it is far easier to prevent the issue from recurring again.

While small amounts of mould can be wiped away with soap, water and a cloth, this only improves the appearance of the affected area, and does not address the damage.

Similarly, there are many DIY mould removers available that are designed to get rid of mould and stop it from returning. However, it only takes one mould spore or fibre to be missed for the mould to regrow and cause further damage.

To treat mould most effectively, a professional solution that combines an effective disinfectant and sterilisation should be used. If a property has a large amount of mould and extensive dampness, an experienced professional should be sought out to tackle the problem.

Final thoughts

To prevent mould from growing and spreading, it is crucial to act swiftly to ensure the problem is contained and addressed properly. This involves a simple step-by-step process, starting with identifying and addressing the cause of the excess moisture, and ending with the removal of all mould, if necessary, by an expert.

Rentokil Specialist Hygiene offers professional and expert mould removal solutions, and our specialist team of technicians can help commercial and residential properties with any issues they might have concerning mould or dampness. Get in touch with our mould removal experts.