Without being educated on the topic of mould at all, most people are instinctually disgusted by mould and naturally feel the urge to get rid of any they see ASAP, but what is mould really?
What is mould?
Mould is a fungi growth that slowly destroys the materials it grows on by using said materials as nutrients. Mould needs moisture to survive so mould mostly forms in damp places like bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms etc. Mould also grows on food that isn’t stored properly or is past its expiration date. Mould can be identified by the dark green/blue spots that are created when mould spores are formed. Fun Fact: If a piece of food has a mouldy part, the entire inside of the food is infected and should be thrown away immediately.
The Dangers of Mould
The reason mouldy food should be thrown away and why we must be diligent in mould prevention and cleaning is that mould poses health risks to us as humans. Some moulds produce mycotoxins which are poisonous to humans and can inflict minor symptoms like nausea and vomiting as well as major symptoms like immune deficiency and cancer. Moulds that produce mycotoxins are named “Toxic Mould” The mycotoxins toxic mould produces can harm you through the air (meaning mycotoxins are airborne), as well as through the ingestion of mouldy food and meat from livestock that was fed contaminated feed. The people most vulnerable to mould are those with asthma, a weakened immune system and anyone with a lung disease.
With all the dangerous variables mould brings to the table, it’s important to know how to prevent mould and more importantly, how to treat an active mould problem.
As stated before, all mould needs moisture to survive, so for the best chance of a mould-free room, keeping the moisture level in the air below 50% is key. This can be done by using an air-conditioner or dehumidifier, after using a meter to measure the air’s humidity level. Making sure there is proper airflow in your home is also essential, there’s a reason many advise against showering with your bathroom windows closed, as over time the moisture in the air collects on the ceiling/walls, resulting in dark and potentially dangerous mould. On a final mould-prevention note, be wary of any leaks that pop up around the home and repair them ASAP, otherwise your leak problem will turn into a mouldy-leak problem (not ideal).
A bit late to the mould-prevention party? No worries! You’re just in time for the mould-cleaning party! It’s not as fun.
Your first order of business is acquiring and using the proper safety equipment, the mycotoxins mould spores produce are airborne after all, so make sure to wear a mask, rubber gloves and even goggles for your eyes (Yes, really. Better to look stupid than to be stupid). A common cleaning agent people use to clean mould is bleach, however this often does not kill the mould and instead just bleaches its top layer, meaning the same mould will eventually come back. A better detergent to use would be sugar soap, simply use it to wipe down mould-infested areas with a microfibre cloth. White vinegar can be used as a substitute for sugar soap, though might not be as effective. If neither of these work and your mould situation stands victorious, call Koreserv and arrange for them to eliminate the mould for you. It might be more expensive than a DIY job, but your well-being is always more important than your money!
Written by Tyler D’Aquino
Health effects of mould exposure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyBMJZ3THPs
CDC’s guide on preventing mould:https://www.cdc.gov/mold/control_mold.htm
Mould removal guide:
Mould and its effects on your health: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/mould-and-your-healthMycotoxins info from WHO: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mycotoxins#:~:text=Mycotoxins%20are%20naturally%20occurring%20toxins,under%20warm%20and%20humid%20conditions.