What Is Mould?
Mould is a type of fungi that flourishes in wet or moist areas. Mould appears as fuzzy dark spots and is commonly black, green or white. There are many different types of mould and they can grow on a wide range of surfaces including walls, windows, ceilings, tiles, carpets, furniture, insulation and wood. Mould can grow in almost any location, where there is water or moisture present accompanied by minimal sunlight exposure. This is why mould is commonly found in damp and dark areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, attics and sheds.
Effects Of Mould
Mould releases microscopic particles called spores into the air. Breathing in spores can lead to short-term and long-term health problems. Some short-term effects of mould exposure include:
• Nasal Congestion
• Respiratory Infections
• Asthma Symptoms Worsening
• Skin Irritations
• Sore Throat
Certain individuals with weakened immune systems, asthma, allergies or lung disease are particularly susceptible to these symptoms. It is believed that some of the long-term effects of mould exposure, especially sustained exposure to toxic black mould could result in:
• Memory Issues
• Lung Issues
• Weakened Immune System
Can Ventilation Prevent Mould?
Mould thrives in areas where there is high humidity, as it requires moisture to reproduce. Indoor activities such as cooking, bathing and breathing can release moisture into the air. If there is poor or inadequate ventilation, the trapped moisture can lead to high humidity levels and the perfect environment for mould to reproduce. A quality ventilation system is the most effective way to prevent mould from growing in your home. Ventilation allows fresh dry air to enter your home while expelling warm moist air. This lowers the humidity levels and prevents condensation from forming, which creates an inhospitable environment for mould.
What Can Cause Poor Ventilation?
Poor ventilation can be caused by numerous factors including structural design flaws or incorrectly maintained ventilation systems. Poor ventilation is usually caused by inadequate air circulation, which doesn’t allow air to enter or exit the space. This results in a build-up of moisture and toxins. These are some common signs of inadequate air circulation and poor ventilation:
• Mould Growth
• Frosted Windows & Doors
• Window Condensation
• Hot & Cold Spots
• Musty Smell
• Moist Surfaces
How To Improve Ventilation?
There’s no doubt that a well-ventilated home is a healthier home, so how can you improve ventilation in your home?
Open Doors And Windows As Often As Possible
This is the simplest and cheapest way to allow air movement throughout your house. It can be worthwhile investing in good quality security screens as they allow you to leave doors and windows open to create air flow through the home. Additional ventilation options will be required if you lock your home up when you are not there.
Use Ceiling Fans And Exhaust Fans
You should always have an exhaust fan running when you’re cooking in order to remove smoke, food particles and moisture from the air. The exhaust fan should be ducted to a flume which transfers the contaminants and moist air to the outside of your home. Running a ceiling fan can further enhance air movement in your house. If you feel a room is becoming stuffy, consider opening the windows and turning on a fan to improve airflow or it may require direct ventilation into the room.
Install A Ventilation System
While opening windows and turning on fans can be helpful short-term solutions, a ventilation system can ensure that your home has proper air circulation. Ventilation systems continuously expel moist stale contaminated air through an exhaust vent or roof vent while allowing fresh clean air to enter through an intake vent, open window, open door or some other “free” air source. There are a wide variety of ventilation systems available depending upon each individual requirement.
Install A Skylight, Roof Vent, Wall vent, Under Eave vent or Gable vent
Skylights allow natural light into dark areas and can help prevent mould growth that would flourish in dark damp areas. Openable skylights/roof windows allow warm moist air to rise up through the skylight lightwell and exit through the open skylight/roof window. A vented skylight can also provide a passive form of ventilation from the ceiling diffuser through the light tube and out through the venting tabs in the roof part of the skylight. The open skylight/roof window combined with an open door or vertical window will allow clean fresh air to flow into the home via the open door/window and moist contaminated air to exit via the open skylight/roof window. This “cross” air flow improves air circulation in otherwise poorly ventilated rooms. A cheaper alternative may be to install direct ventilation from the roof via a wind driven, mechanical or solar powered roof ventilator which is ducted down to an openable/closable ceiling grille in the room of concern. This option allows for air to be drawn directly from the room up through the ducting by the roof ventilator installed. Open windows or doors in the room will provide the ventilation system with the “free” air required to provide air movement through the room. If you only want to service your roof space then the chosen roof ventilator combined with under eave vents, gable vents or static vents will provide the necessary “free” air to the roof ventilator for effective ventilation of the roof space. The natural ventilation options provided above are very cost effective, however, a whole of home natural ventilation system may also be installed at a significantly higher cost.
Install an HVAC Unit
Probably the most expensive temperature control and ventilation option is to install an HVAC system in to your home.
Unlike air conditioning units that simply cool your home, HVAC units can heat, cool and ventilate your house. An HVAC unit includes a furnace, air conditioning unit and vents that are designed to release moisture from your home. An HVAC unit is a good solution for providing temperature control and ventilation to your home.
A poorly ventilated house not only leads to bad smells and potential structural damage to your home, it can also cause significant health problems. If mould or poor air circulation is a problem in your house, contact Calidad Industries today to talk about the most appropriate ventilation solution for your home.