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Mold is a natural thing, and it, for example, helps in the formation of humus with other organic substances in the soil. Outside, mold does not bother anyone. However, mold spores can enter houses and flats through the air. They are invisible to the human eye and fly around until they find a damp spot. There the mold spores find fertile ground, multiply and become visible and smelly. Experts estimate that mold occurs in one in four or five family homes. It only appears in old buildings, but also in new ones, if the ventilation system does not work as intended.
In nature, there are more than 100,000 species of mold. But there are only two ways that mold can develop in living spaces: occupants ventilate incorrectly or ventilate the space too little, or the mold growth is due to construction defects. There is often more than one cause of mold growth. A crack in the wall or water damage can be the trigger, but ventilation in the bathroom or the extractor fan in the kitchen can also be responsible if they do not extract humidity properly. If you ventilate incorrectly or too little, the mold spores multiply uncontrollably.
Mold growth depends on humidity, nutrient supply and temperature. A relative humidity of 40-60% is ideal for humans; we feel more comfortable than in a drier or more humid environment. However, at a humidity of over 70%, it is the mold spores that feel at home. For this reason, the indoor climate in the home should be checked regularly as follows:
A hygrometer is a measuring instrument and determines the humidity of the air. Simple hygrometers are available from 10 francs or can be obtained easily from our partner Condair. It is best to hang or position the hygrometer and check the values regularly. If the humidity is constantly high, you should check your home. If you smell mold, it is already too late.
Experts distinguish three stages of mold formation:
Mold spores are always in the air. In normal concentrations they are harmless to humans. However, the more severe the mold formation, the greater the health risks. Mold spores can irritate the eyes, respiratory tract or skin and trigger allergies, asthma or bronchitis. People with a weakened immune system or a pre-existing condition such as cystic fibrosis or chronic asthma should avoid contact with mold at all costs. Mold also affects the well-being of healthy people.
Mold measurements such as those made on room air, house dust or swab analyses are time-consuming. They are not suitable for assessing health risks in living spaces and are of limited use in selecting appropriate measures. Mold measurements are snapshots that depict situations that can vary considerably over the course of a day and even more so over the course of a year. For this reason it makes more sense to hire a specialist in building damage or building physics to assess the damage on site and document it photographically. In general, we recommend saving money for a mold measurement.