How can I prevent mould growth in my home?

Mould is a type of fungus that can pose a risk to human health when it grows indoors. Mould spores and fungal toxins can trigger allergy symptoms such as sneezing fits, runny nose, coughing, fatigue or gastrointestinal disorders. Mould spores grow on nearly all organic substances (food, books, clothing, wallpaper) if they carry enough moisture.

The allergens are either discharged directly by the fungus and then bind to house dust, or they get into the air with the mould spores and enter the respiratory tract. Mould feeds on animal and plant debris and therefore often appears concurrently with mites.

Mould is frequently found in:

  • Holiday homes that have not been occupied for a long period
  • Damp basements (dry rot)
  • Bathrooms with poor ventilation
  • Wallpaper on
    cold walls
  • Window frames with frequent condensation
  • Damp clothing (mildew stains)
  • Food

Living conditions have changed over the past several decades, and improvements in noise and heat insulation in many homes have led to an increase in humidity.

High humidity is one of the ideal growth conditions for mould.

In addition, air conditioning systems aid the spread of mould inside buildings. Once a room has been attacked by mould, extensive measures may be needed to get rid of it (drainage, reconstruction).

Wooden shelf with books and lamp on brick wall background

It is therefore important to take the following measures to prevent mould from spreading in the first place:

  • Air out rooms regularly, even during the winter. Shock and transverse ventilation help achieve optimal circulation and heat balance.
  • Very damp rooms in particular (bathroom, kitchen, basement) should be aired out regularly.
  • Avoid using indoor fountains and humidifiers on radiators and limit the number of houseplants.
  • As soon as you notice any mould growth, immediately replace the affected object – for example, shower curtain or wallpaper (this should not be done by a person who is allergic to mould).
  • Regularly inspect the walls behind furniture and radiators for mildew stains.
  • Move furniture away from walls. This allows the air to circulate between the wall and the furniture, preventing moisture build-up.
  • Do not leave kitchen waste lying about and take out the rubbish often.
  • Consume food when it is as fresh as possible and avoid storing it for longer periods.
  • Carry out maintenance on your air conditioning system according to the manufacturer’s instructions (both car and home) and also make sure that the air conditioning at your workplace is regularly inspected.
  • Equip your vacuum cleaner with special filters that prevent the redistribution of spores.

Find more information on mould allergy here.