Mould & how to deal with it
What is Mould? :
Moulds are microscopic organisms found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
Mould is alive, but it is neither a plant nor an animal. Mould is a type of fungus. It is part of a group of living organisms that are very common and serve an important role in the environment. Penicillin, an antibiotic that has saved many lives, in its natural state is a type of mould, as is yeast.
Mould is formed by microscopic creatures belonging to the Fungi Kingdom. When tiny airborne spores of mould burst, and then land on a favourable surface, they proliferate into visible colonies, and find new favourable surfaces on which to further develop. Fungal growth requires oxygen, adequate temperature, nutrients and water.
Thermophiles – 35ºC + human pathogens such as Aspergillus Fumigatus Mesophiles –
18ºC to 35ºC Psychrophiles – some fungi grow at 4ºC or below.
Nutrients for mould:
Paper, wallpaper, wallboard, sugars (fruits, vegetables), fabrics, wood, dust, etc
How does mould grow?
Mould seeks MOISTURE, WARMTH, and FOOD, and all three conditions are necessary for it to grow. Mould is most likely to find a place to grow in a bathroom, basement or kitchen, but it can grow in other rooms if conditions are favourable. The climate where you live and your living habits affect the ability of mould to grow.
Mould spores can thrive and reproduce in wet or damp parts of your home: areas that have had flooding or where leakage has occurred in roofs, pipes, or walls, or areas around house plants, especially ones that sometimes are over-watered. In just 48 hours, a moist environment combined with room-temperature conditions and an organic food source can lead to mould growth.
Some places where mould can grow in your home are:
carpet, drapes, upholstery, leather, wood products, clothing, paper, cardboard, books, rags, wallboard, cloth, ceiling tiles, ductwork, paint, wallpaper, household dust.
After it gets the food it needs, mould can move to virtually any kind of surface. Mould growth prefers temperatures between 4 and 38 degrees Celsius. If a warm enough area in your home is humid or damp and contains items that mould likes to eat, your home could develop a mould problem.
How does mould enter a home?
Mould spreads by creating reproductive cells called spores and sending them into the environment. Mould spores are too small to detect with the naked eye. They are everywhere around us and you cannot avoid being exposed to them.
Mould spores travel in the air and attach to people’s skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags and belongings. Other ways spores can enter your home invisibly are:
• through open doors and windows
• through your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system
• on the fur of a pet
Once spores enter, they can settle onto carpeting or other surfaces inside your home. You cannot keep spores out of your home, but regular home cleaning and maintenance often can prevent mould problems before they arise.
How do I know if my environment has mould problems?
If you see whitish, greenish, bluish, or even dark spots on the walls or ceiling the place may have mould problems.
Rooms that accumulate humidity such as bathrooms, kitchens or air conditioning systems usually have problems with mould because fungi develop in high humidity environments.
• Rooms with water leakage or infiltrations may have mould infection.
• If the mould infection is in closets, check for leakages from water pipes nearby.
• High risk buildings:
- Near forests, due to high concentration of mould colonies
- Nearby the sea or a river as the high humidity level raises the development of new colonies.
- Buildings with poor sun exposure, as the sun is a natural germicide and helps prevent humidity.
Can mould make me sick?
Yes, Mould can make you sick.
In addition to its being an unpleasant odour and sight, mould can cause harmful effects to human health that might turn to allergic infections and toxic reactions.
The most common Allergic Effects are:
• Nasal congestions and irritation;
• Mucous membrane irritation;
• Allergic reactions – Rhinitis and Asthma;
• Sneezing and coughing; • Throat and eye irritation;
• Difficulty breathing;
• Asthmatic attacks;
• Itching and skin stains.
Immune suppressed patients are more likely to develop mould infections. Included in such groups we can highlight the danger to patients such are:
- HIV positive
- Organ transplanted
- Under chemotherapy or radiotherapy;
- Other immune-suppressed patients
Mould toxin studies suggest that toxins may be the cause of:
- Pulmonary hemorrhage;
- Reactions in the immunological system (reducing the ability of the organism to react to diseases);
- Neurotoxin effects such as fatigue, headaches, memory loss, depression, erratic moods, convulsions and shaking;
- Potential cancer trigger.
How to control mould
It is impossible to completely eliminate airborne mould. Specialists warn that living in environments entirely safe from mould spores, bacteria or viruses would not be healthy since our immunological system needs to be active. It is recommended that steps be taken to reduce airborne microorganisms, not complete extermination.
• Reduce humidity in your home by opening windows for approximately 30 minutes daily;
• Prevent leaks due to rain; and when unavoidable, dry and treat water damage within 24 to 48hours
• Regularly clean places that accumulate humidity such as showers, faucets and pipes and the floor areas around such fixtures
• Limit carpets and plants in your home;
• Use air purifier to drastically reduce high contamination levels.
• Whenever possible, leave objects exposed to sunlight after cleaning. It is very important that objects are dried after cleaning otherwise they will be subject to new mould contamination.
• Porous materials such as wood, fabric, cushions, and mattresses retain water and are likely to be contaminated, making it difficult to clean them.
In the event that these objects are contaminated, it is advised to dispose them.
Mould Control & Odour Control
Bio-Enzyme with an Instant Odour Control is an effective way of treatment
A bio-enzyme i.e. bacillus subtilis in a liquid concentrate or ready to use as a suspension treatment consisting of specially developed synergised enzyme, aerobic, anaerobic and facultative in nature.
It is harmless to animal and marine life and non-pathogenic.
Reduces BOD, (biological oxygen demand), and the foul odours and gases it produces.
This not only eliminates odours, it eliminates the cause.
These friendly bacteria cannot rest in the presence of organic waste material, it must process it.
Sprayed into the ventilation system, it works its way through the system, consuming organic waste material in its presence, then builds itself up into a full strength colony and goes dormant.
You might say that it sleeps with its eyes open, waiting to swing into action.
As long as you continue to treat, the colony will stay and keep working for you.
For deodorization or general odour control;
Apply a liberal amount of product to the origin of the odour.
For example, apply directly to system duct work, drip pans, evaporator coils and other associated air conditioning elements to eliminate odours associated with bacteria, mould.
- Effectively cleans and controls organics
- Digests organic waste
- Not acidic or alkaline
- Non-pathogenic and non-toxic
- Eliminates strong odours
- Good initial odour control
- USDA accepted / Certified salmonella free
- Harmless to plants, marine, and animal life
- Economical to Use
Recommended for Use on the Following:
• Air Condition Systems, Heating systems, Fresh Air Filters
• Vehicles, Campers, RV’s, Floors, Walls, Carpet, Furniture, Fabrics
• Attics, Crawl Spaces
• Pet Areas, Kennel Grounds
• Saunas and steam baths
Can be used in a ready to use formula or in its more cost-effective concentrated formula and diluted with up to ten parts of water and remains effective.
Has a light fresh scent that dissipates quickly.
Dilute 1litre non-chlorinated water to one 100ml of concentrated.
This dilution is to be used for ALL applications involving HVAC systems.
Spraying for HVAC system sanitizing:
- After dilution,
- Spray approximately 250ml of into the coils, the return air,
- and then saturate the filter while the air is running on cool or fan.
- Leave the fan running for at least 1 to 1½ hours.
- DO NOT apply any chemical based product into the air system after using the bacteria treatment
Fogging for HVAC system sanitizing:
- After dilution, with the HVAC running on cool or fan,
- Fog approximately 350ml directly into the return air on a light fog setting until the fogger’s solution bowl is empty.
- Then spray approximately 100ml on the filter until it is saturated.
- Leave the fan running for approximately 1 to1½ hours.
- DO NOT apply any chemical based product into the system.
Dilute 1 litre of non-chlorinated water to one 100ml of concentrate.
Spray or fog into vehicles, on walls, carpets, furniture, upholstery, drapes, or pet areas, can also be fogged into attics or crawl spaces.
This friendly bacterium is USDA Food Grade Accepted and does not require any safety clothing or equipment for its use. However, it is always best to use a respirator especially when fogging.