The ABCs of Mould – what you need to know

In simple terms, mould is any fungus that grows on a moist surface (including food). For mould to grow and to thrive, three conditions must be present: moisture; a suitable surface; and ideal temperatures. A leaky pipe; a flooded area that was not properly cleaned up; and windowsills with higher-than-usual condensation are just perfect for mould to grow, breed and spread. It also not unusual for mould to be present in carpeting, cardboard, and wood – especially in those high moisture areas like the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.

Mould grows naturally, and comes in a variety of species and colours – not always in that familiar black stuff we often notice. It could present itself with a musty smell, or it could be odour-free. And although it does grow naturally outdoors, the indoor varieties could well pose a health risk to humans and animals. Usually, mould only smells when it’s active, diffusing a moist, musty smell, almost like something rotten. The fact is, there is often no smell and not sign at all.

Mould is a Bio-Aerosol: it disperses living organisms (mould spores) into the air where they continue to live and survive. And because we breathe those organisms into our lungs, there is a potential for small-scale allergic reactions, and sometimes, more serious health issues. Allergic reactions manifest themselves as sinus irritations, watery eyes, and even throbbing headaches. Everyone reacts differently, depending on health, age and sensitivity, but there are definitely situations where reactions are serious.

Young children and the elderly tend to be more vulnerable to the ill effects of mould. Indeed, someone with a specific allergy to mould is especially at risk. The truth is, if symptoms persist, whether on a small scale or more seriously, its time for closer attention. Then it’s up to the individual how to handle the situation. DIY solutions include domestic bleach (which DOES NOT kill mould), and store bought anti-microbial concoctions that might well resolve the problem, and for good.

Of course, with serious mould outgrowths, and in circumstances where there is no sign or smell, it may be appropriate to call in a professional. When it comes to personal health, and the health of the family, its better to be safe than sorry, especially when health symptoms persist. The pros have the experience and expertise to deal with mould – they have the necessary detection tools and equipment; they’re able to expedite the testing of air particles; and they can provide solution options.

Mould detection and testing does much more than just confirm the presence of mould. A reputable company will isolate the location and extent of contamination, allowing for complete remediation at the source. The important thing, of course, is to halt the spread and prevent recurrence – a certified professional has the tools and know-how to ensure success and guarantee removal. To be sure, a repeat performance of mould is not welcome in any home, office or building.

Mould detection need not be invasive – a professional firm, with the right instruments does not need to carve up carpeting, open up the walls and ceilings, or tear up the flooring. Today, mould can be detected using state-of-the-art instruments and high tech equipment – the origin and scope of a contamination can be accurately pinpointed and assessed. And in the end, a remediation plan can be implemented, so that mould is terminated and any consequent damages are repaired and restored.

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