Intense rain and high levels of humidity have created the perfect breeding ground for mould in south-east Queensland. Even areas that did not go under in the recent floods have reported seeing mould growing inside their homes. There has been a lot of moisture in the air over the last week, as well as levels of humidity reaching over 95 per cent.
People have also been keeping their doors and windows closed during the heavy downpours, meaning their homes have not been able to receive much ventilation.
Mould removalist expert Grant Burchell said the unbalanced moisture in the air has been a catalyst for increased mould growth.
"All of the moisture that's in the air gets hot, rises up, and then it starts sticking to the roof and the building materials that absorb that moisture. That's why we start seeing mould growing on ceilings, on walls, in areas behind lounges where there's no airflow."
Recent torrential rain along the east coast of Australia has sparked renewed fears of mould in people’s homes, which can cause dangerous health problems. Many flood-affected residents in northern New South Wales and Queensland will also be contending with mould as part of the post-flood clean up.
Moulds are fungi – microbes like viruses or bacteria. There are some microbes in every building and they’re usually harmless.
In a damp or water-damaged environment, however, toxic mould species grow and release spores that can cause health problems if inhaled.
Mould Hot Spots In Australia
The World Health Organisation advises no level of exposure to mould can be considered safe for health. It says dampness and mould-related problems should be prevented and remediated early to avoid potentially harmful exposure.
Despite this strong advice, mould is a common problem in Australia. Until recently, not much has been known about mould prevalence, with the official WHO guidelines on indoor air quality estimating 10-50% of Australian homes are affected by dampness and mould.
We can also make an estimate using the large-scale Australian Rental Housing Conditions Dataset, which collates robust data collected from over 14,000 rental households in 2020.
Our analysis of this data set shows 27% of renters say their current home has problems with mould and 21% report problems with dampness.
Mould is often found in the south eastern states of Australia due to a combination of lower temperatures and damp weather. It is also a problem in New South Wales and Queensland, where 39% and 26% of regions respectively have a high prevalence of mould in rental homes
What Is Mould?
Moulds are naturally occurring fungi found indoors and outdoors. There are thousands of mould strains, which all require moisture for growth.
Mould spreads to new environments by releasing microscopic spores that travel through the air. Trace amounts of mould are always circulating in the air an environment, but spores begin to grow when they land somewhere with a suitable amount of moisture.
Mould And Your Health
Moulds release several substances that can cause allergic reactions, irritations, and toxic effects when touched or inhaled. While most strains of mould are harmless, there are more than 100 different kinds of indoor moulds that may be harmful to humans. Fortunately, only a small number of these moulds are usually found in homes.
Heath effects can vary, but common reactions may include:
- Skin redness or rash
- Itchy, red eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Chronic cough
- Blurred vision
More severe symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, and lung infection may occur from mould exposure in people with underlying health conditions or a weakened immune system. Children exposed to mould in the first year of life may have an increased risk of developing asthma.
If you’re inspecting your premises for mould, it’s important to know that mould can grow for some time before it becomes visible. Therefore, when assessing your home, keep an eye out for these signs of mould growth.
- A humid or damp closet
- Condensation on windows
- Cracking paint, a dark area on a wall, or other signs of water damage
- An unusual, musty odour
You may also see mould develop in areas with regular moisture or condensation. For example, black mould spots may become visible in corners of your bathroom or behind furniture that is kept up against the wall.
Sometimes mould may be concealed underneath wallpaper, panelling, carpet, or behind walls. If you suspect that hidden mould is growing in your space, it’s smart to consider hiring a professional who can perform a thorough investigation of your home.
Keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to keep mould spores from appearing. Microscopic spores can come in through open airways, windows, and vents, or latch onto clothing and pets. Therefore, the best approach to preventing mould is to make sure your environment doesn’t support its growth.
Preventing Mould Growth
To prevent mould, it’s important to control humidity, increase ventilation, and immediately clean up any standing water or spills. To accomplish this, make sure to:
Getting Rid Of Mould
- Ensure proper ventilation and airflow
- Quickly treat any structural water leaks from the roof, pipes, or other sources
- Use a dehumidifier or A/C if your bedroom is prone to moisture
- Use a damp absorber product in closed areas.
- Move furniture away from the wall
- Create space between clothes and other items in your closet
- If water spills on your goods, carpets and clothing clean and dry it within 48 hours prior to Storing it.
- If flooding is forecast, enlist the help of a Storage space on higher ground to protect your goods.
Should you discover mould growth, prompt and thorough cleaning is critical. Consider the following guidelines for effective cleaning:
Is It Important To Test Mould?
- Nonporous materials and hard surfaces can be cleaned with chemical products, soap and water, or a bleach solution
- Wear gloves, goggles, and a respirator when cleaning mould in order to protect against airborne particles
- Mould growth over 3 square metres may require professional cleaning
- Use a Storage space for items that have been cleaned so that you have room at home to then clean walls and flooring.
Mould growing in your space — no matter the type — should be removed. The health risk is not necessarily tied to a certain type or amount of mould. Therefore, there are no limits on acceptable levels of indoor mould, and expert groups typically do not recommend routine testing for mould strains.
The important thing is to rid your home of any known mould immediately, or better yet, prevent mould from growing in the first place. You’ll rest better knowing that you’re doing everything you can to keep this silent invader.
How Can a Kennards Self Storage Space Help?
Now that you have found the mould lets work on the solution to the issue. Having more space for your clothes, books, and special items by making your living areas more liveable and less cluttered in your home is an excellent idea. A storage space at Kennards is like having an extension attached to your house at a fraction of the price. More room for light and air to move through freely allowing sunlight to shine on walls and floors creating the Space for Change
It is important to store dry items in storage. Moving on a rainy day can also lead to mould so protecting your items by using a trailer with a canopy and unloading that trailer undercover is key. Kennards Self Storage has a trailer with a canopy that can be used free of charge on move in and has space to unload under cover. You are the only person with access to your space. Your privacy is maintained and personal records are kept confidential. You keep the only keys to your space to ensure your own privacy and peace of mind.
Kennards Self Storage has easy access individual storage spaces that are accessible 24 hours a day and there are over 90 centres in Australia and New Zealand, so there is one close to you!!
Log on to www.kss.com.au and you will easily find your local Kennards Self Storage
You will also find moving boxes and storage unit prices. There are a lot of cheap storage solutions out there but ask yourself are you getting bang for your buck.
Kennards Self Storage has alarmed spaces. Back to base CCTV Monitoring and no lock in leases,
Kennards Storage prices are fair and transparent. The website has prices easily viewed for every type of size needed. Renting one is as easy as clicking the keyboard a couple of times. We will even cover your insurance over your goods in storage for the first month, to the value of $30,000. Brisbane Storage prices start at $30 per month for a 1 metre by 1 metre locker. We can even rent you some storage shelves for your storage unit to help you maximise the use of your space!
Kennards Self Storage, the People who Care.