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Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in damp, humid conditions. Bathrooms - with their regular exposure to moisture and windows which are shaded with blinds or set with opaque privacy glass - are an ideal habitat for mould to form.
Not only does mould look unpleasant, it can also cause significant problems if it is left to grow unchecked. Mould is responsible for a wide range of damage in buildings and can also have health implications for homeowners.
An estimated 10% of the population is allergic to mould spores and large amounts can cause skin, eye and respiratory infections as well as headaches, fatigue and even fever. Those who are allergic to antibiotics derived from penicillium should be especially vigilant about tackling mould growth.
To those with more severe allergies, respiratory problems or the immunocompromised, exposure to mould spores can lead to serious lung infections and in extreme cases, pulmonary haemorrhage.
Where mould is concerned, prevention is better than cure. It’s not wise to wait until you are suffering adverse health effects to begin tackling mould.
Clean your bathroom regularly and wipe down wet surfaces after showering or bathing to help prevent mould from growing. Your bathroom ceiling may be hard to reach, but it’s important to make sure you wipe it down and apply a mould wash to surfaces in order to prevent mould forming.
The key to eliminating mould on your bathroom ceiling is to ensure that your bathroom is well-ventilated.
Leaving your bathroom windows open isn’t always a good idea, however. From the low temperatures of a cold winter’s day to taking a quick shower before heading out, there are many reasons you’d prefer to keep your windows closed. For this reason, installing a bathroom extractor fan is a better long-term solution if you want to safeguard your health.
Bear in mind that open windows are considered adequate ventilation only for a WC. All bathrooms must contain an extractor fan by law and the best way to ensure that your bathroom is moisture-free is to install one.
An extractor fan is a small unit commonly installed on your bathroom ceiling. Designed to absorb contaminants that lead to damp and mould growth, it also keeps fresh air circulating and reduces moisture during and after your bath or shower.
If your bathroom suffers from persistent mould growth, it might be wise to invest in some plants with natural purifying abilities. Plants that help prevent mould thrive in the same dim, humid conditions.
Studies have shown that English ivy is an effective natural means of reducing indoor mould particles, demonstrating a reduction of almost 80% in the number of airborne toxins after 12 hours. The peace lily, another common houseplant, goes one better and actually eats mould. This rainforest flower uses its glossy leaves to absorb the spores and converts them into fertiliser.
After installing an extractor fan, place a potted peace lily or hanging basket of ivy in your bathroom to prevent mould forming on the ceiling.