What is mould and how do you prevent it?
It’s a type of fungus but not one that is necessarily edible. Mould is often seen building up it’s furry green pores on stale bread or decaying fruit. It’s a plant like organism that doesn’t produce it’s food supply via photosynthesis but instead relies on its environment to feed its hyphae, which in other words are transparent filaments that are pretty tough in nature. These tiny life forms can withstand extremes of temperature (even freezing) and aren’t always a nuisance, in fact in certain quarters, mould is used to break down perishable veggie matter and is even used in the pharmaceutical industry.
If a homeowner is tackling a mould problem himself, it is in his best interest to invest in some kind of face mask to avoid inhaling particles and spores. A surgical mask, or the type used by carpenters to keep from inhaling saw dust, works well for this task. A long sleeved shirt and long pants should complete the protective outfit.
Mould can be removed by scrubbing the area with warm water and detergent, then allowing it to dry. An additional step of disinfecting the area with a solution of 1 gallon of water (about 3.8 liters) to 1/4 cup (about 60 milliliters) of bleach and then letting it air dry is recommended. This step can be repeated to ensure that most, if not all, of the mould is eliminated. There are also commercial removal products available that are normally sprayed onto the affected area.
To permanently get rid of the problem, however, the source of dampness must be eliminated. The most common reason for dampness is high humidity in places such as bathrooms or sometimes kitchens, and as a result of hanging damp clothes up to dry indoors. Solutions include improving ventilation, dehumidifiers, air conditioning, and drying clothes outdoors, if practical, or using a tumble drier. Other sources of dampness may be leaking roofs, leaking pipes or seepage from wet ground, which may require professional help to fix.