Wardrobes, floors, ceilings and walls throughout Australia are under attack, and the furry culprit, is neither cute, nor worthy of its own movie franchise.
Mould could be harming our health, not to mention our homes, with natural lighting and ventilation specialist, Solatube urging householders to "break the mould" and tackle the issue head on with what sounds like a simple solution - air and light.
"This summer's prolonged hot and humid weather in many parts of the country, not to mention the recent heavy rains, have created the perfect conditions to trigger mould growth in homes," says Solatube's Brett Dickson. "While the current conditions can accelerate this, mould can actually grow at any time of the year indoors when there is poor ventilation, rising damp or a water leak."
According to the NSW Department of Health, all types of mould have the potential to cause health problems, and the key to preventing its growth is to maintain a dry, well-ventilated home.
More energy efficient homes, with less temperature fluctuations and better quality insulation, are likely to have less mould incidents.
Mould can cause health problems when its microscopic airborne spores are inhaled by anyone sensitive or allergic to them. NSW Health warns that people with asthma, allergies or other breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mould. Its website warns that allergic reactions to mould can include a running or blocked nose, coughing, irritated eyes and skin, and for anyone with a respiratory problem such as asthma, inhaled spores can trigger an asthma attack.
In addition to health problems, mould is ugly, can give off an unpleasant musty odour and is often costly and difficult to remove. Vinegar, mild soap and bleach can effectively kill mould, however as mould roots can penetrate absorbent materials, carpets, soft furnishings, and clothing often require professional cleaning, or have to be thrown out.
"More energy efficient homes, with less temperature fluctuations and better quality insulation, are likely to have less mould incidents," says Dickson. "You may be running your fans, dehumidifier and air-conditioning unit to cool and dry your home to reduce mould growth, but heat and moisture continues to come down from your ceiling, which hinders your efforts and costs you money."
To help solve this issue, Solatube has created a solar-powered roof ventilation solution, Solar Star, which is substantially different to a wind vent. It's designed to create a cooler, drier home by removing heat and moisture from the roof cavity, without adding to your energy bill or compromising safety and security.