February 2020 Multimedia Jane Willow

Australia’s climate zones are varied, but during hot and humid summers or rainy winters, average annual humidity levels can go as high as 81% making it the perfect condition for mould and mildew. It is even worse for houseboats because their proximity to the water enhances the chances of developing mould and spores. Fortunately, if you’re a houseboat owner, there are things that you can do to prevent mould from growing or remedy mould attacks.

Spores and Your Health             

Spotting mould in your houseboat is not that difficult. You will smell a musty odour and see black and green spots on surfaces. Once you confirm the presence of mould inside or outside your houseboat, tackle the problem immediately to avoid infestation.

Mould is also a source of respiratory problems and often asthmatic people will have trouble breathing in the presence of heavy mould. Young children are vulnerable as well to spore inhalation that could irritate skin and affect breathing.

Remove Mould as Soon as They Appear

Hence, it is crucial that you remove mould as soon as you suspect its presence in your houseboat. There are several ways to eliminate mould from the premises of your abode. One common solution is to use household bleach mixed with water. Wipe the affected surfaces with the solution and dry them. It is also recommended to air your houseboat in regular intervals because mould thrives in damp and unventilated areas.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of mould. Commercial cleaners are effective as well in mould remediation. They kill spores, sanitise the affected areas, and might also contain additives that prevent mould from reappearing.

Prevent Fungus from Growing

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Hence, make sure to air your houseboat and open windows to let air and natural sunlight in. It is also vital to pinpoint the sources of humidity in your houseboat and to identify where you have leaks of air.

Note that being near to a body of water makes it difficult to prevent mould from occurring. Thus, you might want to use exhaust fans in bathrooms when bathing, install a cooker hood to suck away vapour, steam, and grease when cooking, and open windows whenever the weather permits. Invest in dehumidifiers that you can use in rooms to suck moisture away or turn on the HVAC system, if available.

 Use moisture absorbers and silica gels that you can find in hardware stores or go for natural solutions such as baking soda or rock salt. Make sure that you monitor the humidity regularly so that you know when to step up mould prevention. Ideally, moisture levels should be between 30-60% in a room to keep occupants comfortable.

The presence of moulds in your houseboats can have many detrimental consequences on your health and the structure of your abode. It can even lower the value of your property and can cost money to repair damages. Thus, it is in your best interest to prevent mould from occurring and to treat infected surfaces as soon as possible.

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