Toxic mould and bad bacteria – are these little beasties lurking in your home without you realising it?

“More than 1/3 of all homes in New Zealand have mould issues.” TOI TE ORA – PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE

Not everyone is affected by mould in the same way, but it can cause a variety of unpleasant health issues including coughing, skin and eye irritation, and even immune system suppression. Perhaps someone in your family is showing symptoms and you’ve put it down to winter coughs and colds, or hay fever? Even if no one is showing signs of sickness right now, they may do so later on. This is why it is so important to check for mould regularly; get rid of any you find; and try to prevent it from returning.

Mould is a type of fungi which is found indoors and outdoors and when it reproduces it releases tiny spores into the air that can be breathed in. It is these spores that can cause health problems. Mould can enter your home through open doors, windows and on clothing and will settle on surfaces where there is moisture present, particularly bathroom walls and shower surfaces, but it will also live happily on pretty much any surface – even if there is no water around – including carpets, clothing and upholstery.

Harmful bacteria can also thrive in the home. Bacteria and germs can live on porous surfaces for 8–12 hours, while they can survive between 24–48 hours on non-porous surfaces, such as kitchen bench tops and door handles – which is why it is particularly important to disinfect your house after someone has been sick.

All this sounds pretty gloomy, but luckily mould and bacteria are fairly simple to control and prevent.

You should regularly clean and disinfect any surface areas that come into direct contact with water or condensation, including window sills and all bathroom, laundry and kitchen surfaces and walls. Ensure that these areas are also well ventilated. Fix any leaks that appear in the ceiling or around windows and doors and if possible control the humidity levels in your home. Moulds thrive in environments where humidity levels are high as the moist air provides them with ideal breeding conditions.

It’s especially important to clean properly before you disinfect, as dirt and grime reduce the ability of the disinfectant to reach bacteria, working as a sort of protective shield. When disinfecting, you should pay particular attention to door handles, light switches and telephones, as this is where millions of bacteria tend to settle – used frequently as they are by members of the household.

With a clean and disinfected house, free of mould and bacteria, you will be living in a healthier home which is better for you and your family!

If you have concerns over mould or bacteria, please feel free to give us a call. Your friendly SteamCleanz team can take care of it for you. We have the tools and the experience to guarantee you a quality clean.