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About Mould

In nature mould and mildew is natural. In homes and other buildings in which people reside, however, mould becomes a problem, since mould can cause severe health damages to people and pets. Therefore, recognizing a mould problem is important.

Recognizing Mould
Sometimes mould is visible and a problem can easily be diagnosed. More often, however, the problem is not visible and is established through other indicators, such as leakages and other water damages. Typical signs of water damage and a potential mould problem are loosening wallpaper or tiles, cracked or peeling paint, cracks, discoloration of walls and darkened, swollen or warped wood. A musty or earthy smell is another way of establishing a mould problem, but not all types of mould emit smells. Often, health problems cause residents to suspect a mould problem.

Health Problems

Mould affects different individuals in different ways, and establishing the cause of a problem can be difficult. Mould causes irritation symptoms (irritated and itching eyes, a cold, a gruff and sore throat, hoarseness, cough, difficulty breathing), airway infections (flu, cold fever, bronchus infection, sinusitis, pneumonia, airway haemorrhage), headaches, tiredness, fever, dizziness and nausea. In children ear inflammations and infection cycles are common.
 

Mould Growth

Mould can be detected if the circumstances needed for mould to grow are known. Mould needs warmth, nourishment and humidity to grow. Room temperatures are optimal for mould growth, although they grow in +4 C-degrees (and survive in minus temperatures). Suitable substrates (nourishment) for mould and mildew are wood, concrete, tile, boards (particle-, dry-, etc), most isolation materials, glad wraps, etc. Most buildings offer the temperature and nourishment that mould needs to grow, and when humidity is also high enough mould problems arise. Mould thrives in spaces where the relative humidity of the air exceeds 70 %, a condition commonly caused by leakage or a construction error.