Mould is a common issue in New Zealand homes. With the recent flooding and cyclone, keeping the moisture in the air under control is crucial. High levels of humidity in your home can lead to mould growth. Living in a mouldy home can cause many health issues such as asthma, allergies and respiratory problems. This blog has a few ways to prevent mould from growing in your home.
Also, it is a common misunderstanding that the house is mouldy, however as you will see below most of the causes of mould in homes, especially in areas like the ceilings and walls, is caused by lack of ventilation.
Here are some of the main contributors to causing moisture in your home:
- Not opening windows to bring fresh air into your home
- Not airing bedrooms – opening a window for 10 minutes each day will remove all the moisture. (One sleeping person adds 2 cups of moisture to the air overnight and twice that rate when active during the day).
- Drying wet clothes on a clothes rack inside
- Cooking without using the rangehood, opening windows or putting lids on pots and pans
- Not using the extractor fan or opening a window when having a shower
- Using a clothes dryer
PLEASE NOTE: Drying wet clothes indoors is a big contributor. It can increase the moisture content in your home by up to 30%. Drying one load of washing indoors can produce up to 8 cups of moisture.
Moisture levels are based on a number of factors such as the temperature of your shower, the amount of time you spend in the shower and if you’re using an extractor fan (an extractor fan should run for 5 minutes after your shower) or have opened windows. Generally, a 10-minute shower can create roughly 4 cups of moisture.
The first and one of the most effective ways is making sure you’re using your air conditioning unit/heat pump. These systems are designed to remove moisture from the air before moisture can create condensation in your walls. It works by circulating warm or cool air through your home. It also removes pollen and other allergens from the air in your home, improving air quality.
Another tip for preventing mould is using a dehumidifier. These are more affordable options than an air conditioning system. It’s important to do your research if you’re thinking about purchasing one.
Our final tip for preventing mould growth is to keep any furniture away from your walls. This will create airflow and prevent the growth of mould on furniture or walls behind it.
If you find that mould starts to form, especially as we move into the cooler months, you need to remove it. We have an easy recipe for cleaning the mould. You’ll need baking soda, water and white vinegar. In a bowl, mix ½ a cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of white vinegar until it forms a thick paste. Spread the mixture on the mould and let it sit until it’s dry. Once the mixture has dried, you can scrub away the mould and stains. Finally, wipe the surface with a damp cloth, and dry it immediately.
However, if you suspect the cause is from a leak in the wall or ceiling, please let your Property Manager know as soon as possible so repairs can be carried out.
How do you know the difference between a leak and moisture or condensation – a leak will make the surface soft whereas moisture and or condensation sit on the surface of walls and windows and will look like droplets. If the rooms are not aired then these droplets will begin to turn into mould.
If you are concerned, please contact us so we can support you with this issue.