Toxic mould in the home is a cause for concern as it can cause illness, encourage vermin and increase humidity, according to Archicentre Australia.
Moulds are living organisms and reproduce by releasing spores into the atmosphere, similar to mushrooms and other fungi.
The national architect’s advisory service warns that if not eradicated, the spores from certain moulds can cause asthma, bronchitis, and recurrent colds and flu.
Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev says moulds require moisture; a food source, such as paper, paint or clothing; and still air.
He says 70 percent of mould problems are due to condensation coming from wet areas like bathrooms and laundry, while 30 percent comes from rising damp.
“Rising damp may be evident in winter, but is not always detectable in summer.
“Even minor signs of damp may indicate a far more serious underlying problem and a damp control company should be consulted when in doubt.
“Rising damp occurs at the bases of walls. Water accumulating there has a tendency to ‘wick up’ through the capillaries present in the walls, be they brick, block or most stone as well as through the mortar in which they are laid. Hard plaster internal linings are also not immune to this action – and it is here that it is most commonly observed.
“Damp-proof courses are there to block this upward movement of moisture but are sometimes ineffective.”
He says rising damp can cause increased room humidity, thus encouraging vermin infestation such as cockroaches, silverfish and dust mites, as well as toxic mould growth.
The growth of mould inside a home should always be considered as potentially harmful and Peter Georgiev says it should be eradicated.
While this can be done by cleaning it with white vinegar which should kill the current infestation, the underlying sources should also be addressed.
He says, “These include condensation, rising damp, leaking pipes and lack of dry heat and ventilation.
“Assessment by an Archicentre Australia architect can identify the sources and can recommend the appropriate course of action by a damp control company.
“Common cures often require a combination of works and include improving site drainage around a building, replacing or repairing the damp-proof course, repairing leaking plumbing or improving sub-floor ventilation.”
Peter Georgiev says engaging the services of an architect in the design phase of new homes or additions to existing homes can limit the potential of mould growth or rising damp occurring in the future.
“Clever design principles take advantage of natural site attributes, including climatic conditions, to help ensure a healthy, safe, comfortable and cost-effective lifestyle.”
For more information go to www.archicentreaustralia.com.au
This media release has been written and distributed by:
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950