I’m a mould expert – six danger zones around the home you must check NOW before you go on holiday | The SunJuly 18, 2023
CHECKING your home for mould before you go on holiday may not be on your to-do list, but it can save you serious cash.
If you’re not careful, this toxic fuzz can lay dormant, waiting for heat and humidity – the perfect conditions in which it can thrive.
Tyrone Ekrem is the founder of boiler repair company Fair Fix which sends engineers to people’s homes and an expert in mould.
He told The Sun: “We often associate mould with the wetter months of the year, but the hotter, more humid summer months are also ideal for mould to grow, as the spores do better at higher temperatures.”
Leave the beginnings of a mould problem unchecked, and you could return from your holiday only to find you’ve got an infestation.
This is the last thing you want to come home to.
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He added: “There are a host of danger zones around the home you need to check now before you go off on your summer break.
"If the right conditions for mould growth remain, the issue may go on getting worse, the longer you leave it.
"A little action now could save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.”
1. The bathroom
When it comes to household danger zones, the smallest room in your house could be the one hiding a big problem.
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Mould is caused when there’s a high level of moisture in the air, making your bathroom very prone due to the amount of showering which takes place on a daily basis.
Tyrone said: “The bathroom is the most likely place that mould will grow, usually on walls, windows and floors, as well as around the sink and toilet.”
Check your bathroom carefully for anything that could be an indication that it’s lurking in your property.
Tyrone said: “The summer signs of mould can be tricky to spot, but you want to watch for black, green or white patches starting to appear on the walls of your home, around tiles, or near windows.”
If you notice a bit of a musty smell, this could be another tell-tale sign.
Tyrone added: “Failing to keep your home properly ventilated will encourage mould growth as there is no air-flow to remove the spores that enter your home.
"Black mould is the most common and easiest to remove. Green mould will appear fluffy and start to strip paint.
"Blue mould usually grows in wet or high-moisture rooms.”
2. The kitchen
Your kitchen can also be very susceptible to mould and mildew growth, according to Tyrone.
This can be especially the case in older homes, and other properties with insufficient ventilation.
“Cooking is another activity which can add moisture to the air,” said the boiler supremo.
“Plus we also spend lots of time washing and drying in the kitchen.”
All these things can allow mould to establish itself and spread.
Tyrone added: “The key areas you need to check for a mould attack in the kitchen are the walls behind your units, the areas under appliances, and the corners of windows.”
3. The bedroom
Mould can often be found in bedrooms, and especially if you frequently dry your clothes indoors.
“This can cause a damp problem that leads to dangerous mould,” said Tyrone.
“Before you head off on holiday this summer, go around your bedroom and check the corners for signs of the unpleasant spores.
"Also pull furniture away from walls.”
Be aware that mould may sometimes be concealed under wallpaper or carpet.
Note that while mould can be a danger to your health no matter where it’s growing in your home, it’s especially serious in the bedroom where you can inhale the spores during the night while you sleep.
4. The cellar
If you have a cellar, this can be another prime spot where the fungi can grow.
Tyrone said: “People often overlook the space beneath their house, but this is a place where mould can crop up and spread.”
Basement mould can smell musty, so this could be the first indication you have the beginnings of a problem.
The mould expert said: “As well as more common black and green mould, white mould is another furry variant that is usually found in basements.”
5. The loft
Lofts are another space in your home where mould can be common.
This may be due to a lack of ventilation. In some cases, over-insulating the area can exacerbate a problem.
Tyrone added: “As we attempt to cool our homes, the difference in temperature between the outside and inside can cause moisture, and this can get trapped in lofts, on windowsills, and even within the insulation in your home.”
6. Air con units
While you may be relying heavily on an air con unit during the summer months, you need to check the surrounding area carefully.
“It’s not just the hotter weather that boosts mould growth,” said the plumbing whizz.
“What you may not realise is that air con units also encourage mould, and this is particularly the case around windows due to the condensation caused.”
What can you do?
If you do discover mould, you need to take action.
“Acting fast is the best plan of attack to prevent further growth,” said Tyrone.
“You can make your own mould spray by mixing vinegar and baking soda.
"This is a cost-effective solution.”
Once removed, Tyrone recommends opting for mould-proof paint when re-painting any affected areas.
If the problem persists, call in the professionals.
Tips to prevent mould
If you’re worried about mould, particularly if you are due to head off on holiday, there are steps you can take before you go.
“Making sure your windows and windowsills are dry every morning is a good start,” said Tyrone.
Also take care to keep kitchen and bathroom surfaces dry.
“Avoid leaving any-minute washing to dry in a poorly-ventilated area,” added the mould whizz.
“Always keep a window open or an extractor fan on.”
While cooking, Tryone recommends using pan lids to prevent moisture from escaping.
“Once again, make the most of your extractor fan,” he said.
“Where possible, keep the doors to your kitchen and bathroom closed so moisture doesn’t escape into other areas of your home.”
Keeping your home well-ventilated is also key.
Tyrone added: “This is especially important in the lead-up to any period of absence.
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"At the same time, if possible, ask a neighbour to pop in while you’re away and open your windows and doors.
"Even doing this just for a short period can help increase air-flow.”
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