Body & Fitness

How to stop mould in your home

Cold and damp houses can have a serious effect on our health.
A dry home is a healthy one – open your windows every day.

A damp home can lead to the growth of mould, which in turn can be associated with asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Here’s how to prevent black mould:

  • Keep your house as dry as possible by keeping it well-ventilated – use exhaust fans or leave windows open – and reducing the build-up of moisture.

  • Avoid drying wet clothes inside, shut the bathroom door when you shower to prevent steam escaping and ensure that your dryer has a vent leading outside.

  • Check that there are no leaks in the house.

  • Find out if your home contains asbestos. Thanks to its fire-retardant properties, asbestos was a commonly used building material in many Kiwi homes built before 1985. Dust from this substance is linked with a variety of serious illnesses. If you are carrying out home renovations that involve demolishing parts of your home, you may want professional advice on whether materials used in things such as ceiling tiles are made of asbestos. See health.govt.nz for more information.

When removing mould, remember:

  • Be wary of using cleaning products containing strong chemicals.

  • Some household products can be dangerous if they are not used correctly. They can contain ingredients that are toxic and are associated with immediate hazards such as skin or respiratory irritations, or long-term health issues such as lung and heart problems or cancer.

  • Choose cleaning products that have the lowest levels of chemicals and only use in a room that is well-ventilated. Follow the instructions and use rubber gloves and face masks if necessary.

  • Consider using natural cleaning substances, such as baking soda or vinegar instead, particularly if you are prone to allergies or have heart and lung problems.

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