Mould is a type of fungus that can appear anywhere where moisture is trapped, whether it’s in a badly ventilated bathroom, behind wallpaper, underneath a carpet or in cupboards. Mould is not only unsightly and has a horrid damp smell, it can also be responsible for a slew of health problems if not treated correctly. So whether you’re a Capetonian spring-cleaning your home after the rainy season, or live in a more humid area and are gearing up for summer, here’s why you need to tackle mould:
In some cases, mould can produce toxins. Certain types of mould will cause respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis or asthma, or congestion and symptoms of sinusitis, as well as a persistent cough, wheezing or shortness of breath.
Here are steps for preventing and removing mould:
- Open the windows at least once a day to air out all the rooms.
- Install extractor fans or dehumidifiers in humid areas such as bathrooms. While this measure might be costly, it could save you from having to replace tiles, paint or the ceiling in the long run.
- Vacuum regularly and ensure that your vacuum’s filter is clean. While mould tends to stick to surfaces in the black, grey or greenish visible form of fungus, spores can be spread across the house and can be removed by vacuuming.
- Buy specialised cleaning products designed to kill mould.
- Keep bathrooms and kitchens as dry as possible. Urge your family to hang out their towels after use and to open windows to let out steam after showering. Switch on the extractor fan or open windows while cooking and creating a lot of steam.
- Fix leaks immediately.
- If there is a lot of mould, get your ceiling or insulation inspected to find the actual cause of the problem.