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How to prevent mould growth in your home

Mould plays a significant role in nature. Mould breaks down dead organic matter, including fallen leaves, and speeds up the decomposition process so nutrients can return to the soil as quickly as possible.

But mould inside a home can be a formidable foe, triggering allergic reactions and increasing a person’s risk of developing respiratory problems. Mould can even cause damage to a home by attaching itself to wood and breaking down that wood.

Because the consequences of mould growth inside a home can be so dire, it’s important that men and women take steps to prevent mould growth in their homes and apartments. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that controlling moisture levels in a home or apartment is the key to controlling mould as well.

• Address spills quickly and properly. Many instances of mould infestations can be traced to leaks or spills that were not quickly or properly addressed. The EPA advises that wet or damp materials or areas should be dried within 24 to 48 hours to prevent the growth of mould. Make sure spills are thoroughly cleaned as opposed to a cursory clean up of only the areas visible to the naked eye. Inspect nearby crevices when spills occur to ensure the area where the spill happened, and all surrounding areas vulnerable to mould growth are dry. Also, fix leaky plumbing fixtures immediately, hiring a professional if necessary.

• Inspect the ground surrounding your home. Factors outside a home can sometimes contribute to mould growth within a home. Make sure the ground outside your home slopes away from the foundation. If the ground slopes toward your home, rainwater or runoff from sprinkler systems may direct water into your home, creating conditions favourable to mould growth inside. Gutters and downspouts also should be inspected to ensure they are working optimally. If not, they can contribute to water damage on the roof that can ultimately lead to mould growth.

• Monitor indoor humidity. The EPA advises that homeowners keep indoor humidity below 60 percent relative humidity, which can be measured with humidity meters available at many hardware stores. Homeowners who can keep indoor humidity at levels 30 to 50 percent below relative humidity might be even more successful at keeping indoor mould growth at bay.

• Dry, wet surfaces immediately. Surfaces can become wet even if a home has no leaky fixtures and no spills have occurred. For example, the surfaces of bathroom walls, ceilings and floors get wet when a home’s inhabitants take hot baths or showers. That condensation is natural, but such surfaces are also susceptible to mould growth. Make sure to dry wet surfaces immediately, and keep exhaust fans on or windows open when bathing to decrease the likelihood of mould growth.

Mould growth can be detrimental to human beings and their homes. But many mould infestations are easily prevented.

– Metro Creative

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