As a child who suffered from allergies, asthma and heavy bronchitis episodes, I am witness of the devastating power of mould to my health and wellbeing. In this article I will address some of the reasons why you should keep vigilant in the upcoming winter months in order to prevent the proliferation and growth of mould in your home.
At around 7 years of age, I remember having strong difficulties to breathe, to the point of not being able exercise and play as other children, especially during the cold and flu season. What I didn’t know was that, those black spots across my wall was toxic mould spreading across our home and that it wasn’t normal to have green spots in our clothes. Luckily for for us, we moved to a new home and my mum promissed that she would never let our home to get to that stage. Once in the new house my asthma problems started too ease and I have never had an episode of bronchitis again.
In simple terms mould are microorganisms that feeds of dead organic material (e.g. skin, dirt) and needs water, oxygen and a temperature between 4C and 37C to grow; no wonder why showers have the perfect environment for mould to grow.
Here are the reasons why mould grows faster in winter:
As temperatures cools down, warm and hot baths are more frequent on us, nothing wrong with it! In fact reserch shows that human body craves for hot baths during Winter time to keep its temperature, recover fatigue and stress, and increase the speed and efficiency of blood circulation. Condensation occurs when the vapour from hot baths cools down as it changes into liquid.
According to the Department of Public health WA indoor condensation is the main cause of moisture for the growth of mould. Try to turn on the fan every time you use the shower and leave it on for at least five minutes until you finish showering.
Rain increases the chances of leakages and filtrations in roofs, walls ,and windows and accumulates water in window frames. Look for any filtrations on the roof and wipe out water when possible with a squeegee to keep your house dry.
Rain increases relative humidity in the environment as well as inside your home. Due to heavy rain in the winter months, windows need to be closed therefore no ventilation or air circulation can be achieved making the relative humidity levels above 60% which the perfect environment for mould to grow. Try too keep your inside doors open to allow ventilation from room to room.
In the winter months dining out becomes less frequent. Home cooking and boiling generates high levels of moist and heat. Ensure extractor is on at all times during cooking and at least 5 minutes after finish. This can also eliminate much of the moisture that builds up from everyday activities.
Sun is a natural drier and cleaner and prevents the spreading of mould. As days become shorter less sunlight enters to the home. Ensure all curtains and blinds are left open during sunlight to reduce humidity levels this will also help the heat to get inside the house. Once the the sunset is finished is advisable to close down all curtains and blinds to avoid the heat to run out.
Mould is not a fun thing to have and when it gets out of hand it can destroy not only your home but your health.