Media Releases

Stop mould creeping into your home after heavy rains

3 Aug 2021

Much of Australia looks set to be hit with more rainfall than average this year and for people in lockdown, it is more important than ever to minimise indoor humidity to stop damp and mould creeping into homes.

For the 2.7 million adults and children with asthma it is even more crucial, as mould and dust mites are key triggers for asthma and allergy symptoms, and both thrive in a humid environment.

National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice Program Manager David Furniss said warning signs included condensation on windows in the morning, a musty odour or leaks and rising damp.

Mould can appear anywhere in the home - particularly in places with poor ventilation, such as walk-in and built-in wardrobes, compact laundries and in bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. 

“Try to improve air flow and humidity levels by leaving the wardrobe doors ajar, opening a window regularly, or using a dehumidifier,” he said.

When a mould source is present, small particles called spores are released in the air, which can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. The symptoms can include nose, eye and skin irritation, sneezing or wheezing, and severe reactions in some people.

It is important to find and fix the source of mould growth, as well as cleaning visible mould, to stop it from regrowing.

Dust mites are another common asthma trigger, which thrive when indoor humidity is high and are found in soft furnishings such as beds, pillows, carpets, soft toys and clothing. The main culprit is their droppings, which are easily stirred up by movement.

“Dust mites are nearly impossible to eradicate, but as with mould, reducing humidity in the home can help to keep them under control,” said Mr Furniss.

What you can do:

  • A regular hot wash will kill mites in bed linen and freezing soft toys overnight will also help
  • Mattresses, pillows and quilts can be harder to clean, so instead look for washable mite-impermeable covers or products made with anti-microbial treatments
  • Remove visible mould by cleaning with naturally fermented white vinegar solution or other mould-reduction cleaners
  • Seal any leaks in bathrooms and roofs
  • Use extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen.

Visit the Sensitive Choice website to find where asthma triggers hide in your home:

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For further information or an interview with a National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, please contact: 

Donna Le Page, Le Page PR 

Mobile: 0429 825 703

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