Mould on the wall: what are the health risks?

Traces of mould inside the house are not good news. Mould can appear on walls, ceilings and floors due to excessive humidity. The cause? Too much water vapour in the air. Let's look at the factors that lead to the formation of mould on the wall, the health risks and the best solutions for dealing with it.

How to spot mould on the wall?

Mould is a term used to describe fungi (microscopic) that are green, grey, or black in color that appears in damp areas and has an unpleasant odour.

Mould on the wall is most often caused by excessive humidity. This is because water and water vapour remain inside the room and become embedded in the materials, creating mould. The fungi that cause these moulds thrive in damp environments because they emanate from the outside air and living things.

Greyish or green stains on the wall or a joint, a musty or earthy smell… the signs are numerous and unmistakable. If the area is damp, mould is likely to grow in the medium to long term: this is rarely a surprise…
As you can see, the water in the air and on the walls creates an ideal environment for mould to grow. But what are the health risks?

Measuring the humidity in your home’s rooms is an important step to regulate its level and prevent mould. The Netatmo Smart Weather Station is an excellent solution here: it keeps you informed in real time of the quality of your indoor air as well as your humidity level.

The health risks of mould increase over time

No risks for stains and mould that can be quickly removed
Mould that is removed immediately after detection is not harmful, so it is important to remain vigilant and watch out for stains and odours in wet areas, particularly in the bathroom and kitchen. Beware, however, if the mould persists and grows: for these fungi then release spores and other toxic substances: mycotoxins.

There is no risk when it comes to mould that can be easily removed or cleaned up

The persistent mould that is not cleaned in time can become a real problem. Here we can discuss health risks: breathing in mould spores and mycotoxins can cause variable but serious health problems.
This concerns above all (but not exclusively) fragile and sensitive people: sick people, children, elderly people, etc. Spores and toxic substances emitted by moulds can irritate the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract as well as allergies. Mould can cause asthma, rhinitis, and bronchitis.

But that's not all: untreated mould caused by too much water vapour in the air in some rooms can also cause hay fever, chronic coughing, lung infections, and even respiratory diseases.

Mould starts as an ugly smear but can quickly become a major health problem and lead to health complications. So how can we tackle these problems?

The risks of spores and mycotoxins

Mould and other consequences of dampness in the home can pose health risks. So how can we prevent it?
Depending on the stage of humidity and mould in your home, several solutions are available. Firstly, you can control the humidity level to regulate it. Ventilation also helps to limit its proliferation. Next, you must remove all traces of mould as soon as possible. Lastly, in the worst of cases, a professional can help you.

Measuring the humidity level for better regulation

A hygrometer or a weather station gives you all the data you need about the level of humidity in your home. If the rate is regularly above 65%, the risk of mould growth is likely. So, we start by measuring the amount of water vapour in the air to better limit fungi.

Ventilation, the best solution for fighting mould

House Airing and ventilation are essential reflexes to fight against mould and humidity in general. Airing your rooms in the morning and evening should be a permanent rule. Ventilating as much as possible is the best way to renew the air and remove moisture.
From CMV to thermal draught, there is no shortage of techniques for ventilating the house. So, to prevent mould from affecting your comfort and health, ensure that the air in all rooms of the house is circulated.

Immediately clean up any traces of mould

Limiting the development of moulds also involves being attentive and learning to recognise them. We, therefore, recommend that you regularly check any rooms that you find humid. Ideally, even the slightest water damage or leakage should be cleaned up as soon as possible.
If you find any traces of humidity, mould, or fungus, do not wait to clean up and get it over with. By now you are aware of the health risks this can cause!

Contact a professional

Whatever your mould problem, you can always turn to a professional to ask questions, request a diagnosis, or receive solutions. If you don't want to take any risks, this is often the best solution because you will then have all the necessary elements to tackle mould and, even more so, humidity.

One last tip, considering that humidity and water, in general, are not the only causes of mould, is to avoid a large number of nutrients. These include cardboard or gypsum board. So, watch out for mould related risks!