How Does Mould Interact With Indoor Pollutants?

Tuesday 12th December 2023

Ellen Warren

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CONTENTS

Indoor pollutants are more common today than many years ago, contributing to poor lung development in children and increased asthma attacks. These contaminants include mould spores, chemical vapours, and microscopic dust particles that accumulate into dangerous air quality.

For mould cleaning services, ICE Cleaning's Dewpoint-accredited technicians can step in and help. We tackle small and large infestations, utilising the most advanced technology, ensuring all traces of mould are removed from your home permanently. 

Read on to learn more about indoor pollutants and how they interact with mould. 

Understanding indoor pollutants and their impact

Indoor pollutants are often invisible, silently affecting the air we breathe. These include mould spores, dust mites, and chemical vapours from cleaning products. The consequences of these pollutants can vary from minor discomfort to potential health hazards.

Mould is a particularly prevalent indoor pollutant in damp environments. It releases microscopic spores that circulate in our living spaces, causing an unpleasant smell and posing potential health hazards like respiratory issues or allergies.

A common source of indoor pollution is volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which come from everyday items such as paints or air fresheners.

Prolonged exposure to VOCs can lead to headaches, dizziness or even damage to your liver and kidneys. Maintaining clean surroundings is crucial to keep these pollutants at bay.

Mould as an indoor pollutant

Moisture triggers mould growth, which occurs due to various factors like leaks, condensation or excessive moisture. These mould spores are constantly present in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Spores can cling onto many materials, including wallpaper, carpets and insulation. The real issue arises when these mould spores infiltrate the air we breathe. 

This affects indoor air quality and triggers health issues like allergies or asthma attacks for some people. To keep mould at bay, it is essential to control moisture levels in your home – make sure rooms are well-ventilated and fix any leaks promptly.

Interactions between mould and other indoor pollutants

Mould often brings along other indoor pollutants. When mould interacts with these pollutants, things can get dangerous. Studies show that mould interacts with chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making air quality worse. 

The mixture of spores and VOCs can ruin your air quality and even impact your health, leading to issues ranging from allergies to more severe respiratory conditions. You will need effective strategies such as proper ventilation or professional cleaning services to prevent this.

Health implications of mould and indoor pollutant interactions

Research shows mould exposure can lead to respiratory issues like coughing or wheezing. Besides these symptoms, interactions between mould and other pollutants, such as tobacco smoke or chemicals, can increase these risks.

If you have allergies or asthma, this combination is even more harmful. These allergens provoke your immune system, causing sneezing and shortness of breath. 

We all need clean air for good health. But in our homes, we are exposed to numerous pollutants every day, which interact with each other, increasing their negative effects.

Mitigating the effects of mould and indoor pollutants

Dealing with mould and indoor pollutants can be difficult, but it is possible with some practical solutions to address this problem. Regulating and maintaining certain elements indoors can help this, preventing the overall risk of illness.

How to prevent mould

  • Maintain proper ventilation by using extractor fans, especially in areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms
  • Keep humidity levels between 40-60% - track this using a hygrometer
  • Use dehumidifiers in damp areas and consider airing out your home regularly with open windows
  • Address water leaks immediately to prevent damp
  • Properly insulate walls, roofs, and floors to prevent condensation.
  • Consider using anti-mould paint and materials in areas prone to damp
  • Regularly clean and dust your home to prevent dirt and dust accumulation
  • Dry wet items, such as clothing and towels, outside or on a heated clothes horse
  • Regularly clean and maintain gutters to ensure proper drainage and prevent water from seeping into walls and foundations
  • Utilise extraction fans when cooking or showering to extract moisture from the air

How to decrease indoor pollutants

  • Ensure adequate ventilation by opening windows and doors regularly to allow fresh air to circulate
  • Employ air purifiers with HEPA filters to trap and remove particles, allergens, and pollutants from the air
  • Implement a strict no-smoking policy indoors to minimise exposure to harmful tobacco smoke, vape smoke and associated pollutants
  • Use low or zero volatile organic compound (VOC) products, including paints, adhesives, and cleaning supplies
  • Maintain a regular cleaning schedule to minimise dust, mould, and other allergens
  • Ensure that appliances such as stoves, ovens, and clothes dryers are vented to the outside
  • Regularly service and monitor gas appliances to prevent the release of harmful contaminants such as carbon monoxide
  • Minimise the use of harsh household chemicals and opt for natural alternatives
  • Regularly service and clean heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
  • Properly manage and dispose of household waste
  • Minimise the use of open fires or wood-burning stoves
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in key areas of your home

The role of ventilation in controlling indoor pollutants

Ventilation helps to control these dangerous VOCs by reducing their concentration levels. According to various scientific organisations, proper ventilation lets fresh outdoor air come inside while pushing stagnant indoor air out, taking airborne particles such as mould spores with it.

This is more than just eliminating bad smells or controlling humidity – properly ventilating your space also ensures that any pollutants released indoors get removed before they can ruin your health.

Frequently asked question

What are five indoor pollutants?

Mould, dust mites, tobacco smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and radon gas all count as common indoor pollutants.

What are 4 sources of indoor pollutants?

Sources include building materials (asbestos), household products (cleaners), heating appliances (carbon monoxide), and biological contaminants like mould or pets.

What are the top four indoor air pollutants?

The main culprits for poor indoor air quality often include carbon monoxide, VOCs from paints or cleaners, tobacco smoke, and mould spores.

What is the biggest indoor pollutant?

Volatile Organic Compounds usually rank highest. They come from everyday items such as cleaning agents, furniture polish or even scented candles.

Get in touch

At ICE Cleaning, our mould remediation services include emergency cleaning and thorough dehumidification processes. Our experts never leave a job without equipping you with professional guidance on future prevention, offering a lifetime guarantee* to ensure it never returns.

To learn more about our mould removal programmes, get in touch with us today for a free, no-obligation quote at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. We operate nationwide, 24/7, and offer emergency cleaning services, so we can be on-site the same day as your initial call.

*subject to advisories

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