Mould spores can be found virtually everywhere, both indoors and out. They can grow on almost any material, including wood, paper, drywall, carpet and food. All that spores need are dampness, a food source and time. This means the key to preventing mould is managing the moisture levels in your home.
You may think that if your home is brand new, you shouldn’t have to worry about mould. But there are many reasons a new home might still develop mould. Many building materials contain organic material that mould spores can feed on, and if these materials are damp or wet at the time of their installation you may start to see some evidence of mould as they dry. Or you might have mould because moisture is getting into the house somehow, perhaps due to a plumbing leak, a crack in the foundation or missing flashing on the roof.
When you see mould, the first thing to do is determine the source of moisture and eliminate it. If you think it’s the result of a defect in your home, contact your builder.
If the cause of the mould is a warranted defect in your home, your new home warranty covers mould remediation for up to $15,000 in addition to repairing the defect that’s causing the problem to begin with. However, if the culprit is improper maintenance on the part of the owner, remediation isn’t covered.
Once the moisture problem is resolved, if the area affected by mould covers less than one square metre, you can clean it yourself using an anti-microbial soap or detergent solution. Remember to use gloves, a respirator and eye protection. After cleaning the area, dry it and remove any porous or damaged materials. Going forward, it’s important to monitor the area to make sure the mould doesn’t come back.
A little home maintenance can go a long way when it comes to mould prevention. As a new homeowner, it’s important that you regularly inspect window and door surfaces for moisture and condensation; inspect plumbing fixtures and immediately repair leaks; use all exhaust fans, especially in the bathroom and kitchen; and inspect the foundation, roof, windows, doors and exterior cladding for moisture intrusion.