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Mould and Mildew: What You Need to Know

When you think of mould and mildew appearing around the home, you might assume that it only happens to people who can’t maintain a clean environment. While this certainly helps, many homeowners know that even the tidiest households can suffer, which is why it’s important that you keep an eye out for fungal growth. If it’s hidden from sight or simply left unattended, it can become a major problem down the track.

What it is

The terms mould and mildew are often thrown around together, but it’s helpful to know the difference between the two. Mildew is a thin layer of fungi that’s usually white in appearance with a powdery texture; mould is a thicker collection of green, brown or black fungi with a fuzzy appearance. Both thrive in damp areas and typically smell stale and musty.

Where it shows up

Since mould and mildew like to show up wherever there is moisture, it’s common to find some growth in areas like bathroom ceilings and tile grout. Because these spots will often be damp by nature, your best defence is proper ventilation and some elbow grease and mould killer spray whenever the area needs a clean. If the growth is significant, you may require a professional to address the issue to ensure the fungi is not spread or inhaled.

That said, mould and mildew can become a concern when it starts appearing in places such as air conditioning ducts, underneath fridges, ceilings, walls, carpet and anywhere else where there shouldn’t be moisture. This is often a sign of a leaky appliance or cracked plumbing and could mean you have to go beyond a routine clean.

Try to investigate the source of the mould—if you discover a leak or simply can’t find the source, it’s a good idea to ask a plumber to take a look and conduct any necessary repairs before the damage gets worse.

Why you need to have it removed

Remaining vigilant in your fight against mould and mildew is not just about keeping your home looking tidy and smelling fresh. Excessive exposure to unchecked fungal growth can pose a health risk to your family, particularly those who suffer from a respiratory illness or condition. Some people also experience a sensitivity to mould that can induce itchy eyes, coughing, headaches and general congestion. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider that cockroaches and other household pests love to hang out in damp areas!

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