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Effectively preventing and removing mold in your home

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Mold: definition and species

Mold is a fungus that exists in several hundred thousand varieties worldwide. Of these, not all are dangerous to humans, some are even helpful, because some medical products such as antibiotics are obtained from mold. In an apartment, it is caused by high humidity and a medium temperature. Among the best-known types in the home environment is black mold, which often grows in damp rooms, walls, ceilings, and wallpaper. Green mold grows in damp areas and on food or potting soil and can cause allergic reactions, asthma, weakening of the immune system, or headaches. White mold is also found on food, but it also develops on walls. The highly harmful yellow mold is rarely found in many industrialized countries due to high standards of hygiene. It can form in damp walls and on textile surfaces. Red mold occurs on paper and cardboard, in flour or in veneer, and is often found in kitchens or bathrooms.

Causes of mold in your house

The main reason for mold growth is high humidity. Mold spores exist almost everywhere, moisture causes them to germinate and mold to grow. This happens especially when the humidity is higher than 60%. The humidity of the air increases due to water damage, incorrectly insulated walls or construction defects as well as leaks, but also due to poor ventilation behavior. Especially in rooms where clothes are hung to dry, it increases quickly if not well ventilated. The kitchen due to regular cooking and the bathroom due to showering or bathing are also potential sources of excessive humidity and, as a result, mold.

Black mold can easily develop in bathrooms, between the tiles

Mold in house: these places are affected the most

Bedroom

Mold in the bedroom occurs when there is little or no ventilation, especially with the help of tilted windows. It mostly occurs on the ceiling or walls. This is intensified if laundry is dried there and thus the humidity is increased. Ensure proper airflow and ventilation to prevent this.

Bathroom

Mold in the bathroom is also a common problem. Bathrooms usually form the most humid rooms, because showers or baths are taken here, and sometimes washing machines are also located there. Especially in inside bathrooms, black mold can quickly develop in the joints and on walls.

Basement

Cellars offer particularly favorable conditions for mold growth. For the most part, they are cooler and more humid than other rooms - both conditions that allow mold to thrive in basements. Adequate air circulation is also often lacking here. If wooden elements are present here, they may be attacked by wood rot, which decomposes the wood and damages the materials.

Wall

Mold on the wall can grow unnoticed underneath wallpaper or behind furniture. If cabinets or the sofa are too close to the wall, air does not circulate sufficiently, allowing mold to grow.

Shower

High humidity makes it easy for mold to grow in the shower. The most common type is black mold. It occurs in grout lines, on tiles and walls, and on the ceiling above the shower tray.

Windows

Mold on windows can be a problem, especially with wood frames. Frequent tilting ventilation at low outdoor temperatures creates suitable conditions for mold spores to grow. This is favored by inadequate insulation.

How to avoid the development of mold

Once the unwanted fungi have developed, you should set about removing the mold as soon as possible. It is even better if you prevent the development of mold and save yourself the work. Be sure to ventilate properly and sufficiently. It is better to open a window completely for a quarter of an hour than to keep it tilted for several hours. Moisture produced by cooking or showering should be removed to the outside as quickly as possible through an open window. If there is an opportunity to dry laundry in the outdoor area, take advantage of it. Also, position furniture at a distance of at least 10 cm from the wall so that the air in the room can circulate. Check your home for construction defects that promote high humidity and have them corrected promptly. One option for preventive control is to measure the amount of mold in the air. There are measuring devices for this in every hardware store.

Frequently asked questions

Written by:

Stefanie Aust, Guest Writer

Stefanie loves to put complex topics from the real estate world into understandable and inspiring words. Whether it's about the right financing, choosing the right type of flat, or a successful property search: Stefanie is happy to inform you.

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