The importance of subfloor ventilation in Melbourne

Zephyr Ventilation are your ventilation experts and are here to explain the importance of having good ventilation and air quality within your house. First of all, people these days are very prone to illness whether by influenza or simply by living with bacteria or any other microbes such as mould.

What are some of the reasons we could have poor air quality within our homes?

  • People can produce high humidity simply by giving off body heat while you sleep or breathe. This high humidity will provide condensation to the surfaces within the property which in turn is also a food source for mould growth.
  • Due to the type of houses built in Melbourne & Sydney there might be a subfloor area under your house that has insufficient airflow which means any bacteria or mould spores can potentially rise up through the floor and contaminate the livable area of the house. One of the reasons mould develops in the subfloor area is due to ground seepage that flows through the ground. This is a food source for mould growth that will always develop unless you can stop the ground seepage. One way to do this is to dig a rubble drain around the perimeter of the house to capture the ground water before if can get in under the house.
  • The occupants may not be able to ventilate properly due to weather conditions.
  • Missing exhaust fans or exhaust fans not connected or ducted to the outside of the property

What system can be installed in the subfloor area under your house?

Zephyr Ventilation can supply and install a mechanical subfloor ventilation system which consists of generally a 200mm in-line fan that is connected with flexi duct to strategically placed ducts to two things. One of the benefits of this system is to create better air flow under the house which will assist in drying out the subfloor area under the house and the other benefit is to suck out any airborne contaminants that could potentially rise up through the floor and contaminate the house. When Zephyr Ventilation installs your subfloor ventilation system it will be set up to run on a timer so the owner or tenant doesn’t have to turn it on or off. When installing these ventilation systems they can be set up to place the subfloor area under negative, neutral or positive pressure.

Don’t hesitate to contact Zephyr Ventilation to book in your ventilation assessment and quote for your new subfloor ventilation system.

Why it is important to have good indoor air quality for children

Everyone understands outdoor air pollution and the effects that smoke, smog and dust can have on our respiratory systems – but there is also harm in the effects of indoor pollution that can be just as bad for our health, and especially for the health of our children.

Children are more vulnerable to poor air quality indoors. Some examples of pollutants within our four walls include that of cleaning products, paints, chemicals within furniture, particulate matter from wood burners and open fireplaces, as well as dreaded mould spores.

When a home has a lack of efficient ventilation, poor indoor air quality can lead to headaches, dizziness, coughing and sneezing, runny noses, suffering with difficulty breathing, dry skin, throat and eyes. It may be more difficult to spot these early symptoms in small children, especially infants. But, over time, air pollution can be extremely harmful to health, leading to breathing issues, allergies, asthma and chronic lung disease.

How does indoor air pollution affect a child’s health?

Air pollution even has an impact on pregnancy and on the health of the baby. The developing lungs of the unborn baby are susceptible to the effects of air pollutants and it is possible to cause health issues for the baby once it is born. If you have noticed that you feel unwell when you’re inside your home, you should have your home tested for air pollutants and the overall air quality.

When a premature baby is born, it is usually more at risk of respiratory issues than a child who was born full term, as its lungs are likely under-developed. Good indoor air quality is even more important to these little babies. Polluted air can also cause respiratory problems such as croup, which can also be harmful to young children and babies; which quite often results in trips to the hospital emergency room.

When children are exposed to toxins in the air through poor ventilation over a long period of time, they can develop respiratory issues such as asthma or bronchitis. Children who contract bronchitis regularly are more likely to suffer from asthma as they grow up.

What about mould?

One of the telltale signs of ineffective ventilation is condensation on your windows. Excessive moisture and dampness within the home can lead to mould growth. Not only is mould ugly, smells putrid, and damages soft furnishings, it is also a leading cause of respiratory and skin conditions, such as asthma and eczema, and very harmful to a child’s health. The impact of mould spores on health is significant and this is why the air quality and ventilation inside a house should be checked.

How can I improve the air quality and reduce toxins within my home?

Check what ingredients are contained within cleaning products before you buy them. It is better to use products that are scented with essential oils rather than chemicals. Scented candles, unless scented naturally and similar items, such as wax melts can also be problematic. Sourcing cleaning products which are environmentally-friendly is the way to go. These will work in exactly the same way as regular cleaning products, but without causing damage to a person’s health.

When drying washing indoors, ensure your machine is ducted to vent the hot moist air outside. Otherwise condensation can build up and cause humidity levels to rise due to excess moisture. Bathrooms should also be well ventilated for an efficient ventilation system in order to remove hot moist air when showering.

It is a good idea to have the air quality of your home tested, even more importantly if you have children. You can do this yourself with an air quality monitor or you can have a professional do a survey. It is also a great idea to have a professional such as Zephyr Ventilations do a ventilation assessment of your home. Our team can work out the right systems for your individual property and family needs. An effective ventilation system will improve air quality and prevent future mould infestation through keeping condensation and air moisture under control

Many homes suffer with problems caused by condensation and mould and may not realise the harm this is doing to themselves, their children and even their pets! Good quality indoor air is giving your family the best chance of improving their health. A competent effective ventilation system will reduce the concentration of VOC levels, moisture and mould, with many positive health benefits.

6 good reasons to install a ventilation system in your home

There are many benefits to be gained by installing a ventilation system in your home. Home ventilation refers to the process of moving air around, so that it is changed or replaced in different spaces, improving the quality of the air inside your home. Almost every home in Australia will have some form of ventilation, even if this is just in the form of air ducts in your bricks, which are often neglected, covered up, or are not adequate to cope with everyday living. Modern ventilation systems often use mechanical elements and offer a whole home approach.

These home ventilation systems can help to:

1.Reduce asthma and other conditions

According to Asthma Australia, there are around 1.9 million people who have asthma in Australia. This is equivalent to one in 9 people. Some have mild symptoms, but severe asthma can be debilitating, and even fatal. In 2014, (which is the most recent data available) 419 people died from asthma. There are many different triggers for asthma, but the mould associated with damp, pollution, cigarette smoke, house dust mites, and other things that enter the air in the home, can all trigger attacks or make an existing problem worse. A well-ventilated home will not cure asthma, but it can help to reduce the symptoms and make asthma attacks less common.

2. Reduce home condensation

Condensation is a common problem in many Australian homes. It is a leading cause of dampness and, if it is left unattended, condensation can result in mould growth.

Condensation forms on internal surfaces when the air outside falls sufficiently below the temperature of the moist air inside the property. Moisture in the air then condenses into liquid droplets, leading to damp patches or resulting in the familiar ‘streaming’ on windows. It is more common in the colder months when the difference between the heat inside and outside is most noticeable. A good home ventilation system not only improves the air quality within your home, but it can also help to prevent an increase in moisture levels within a property which can lead to condensation and mould issues over time.

3. Keep the air in your rooms fresh

The importance of ventilation to your physical health cannot be overstated, but, whatever the design and layout of your home, a good ventilation system can also help to keep it fresh, pleasant, and relaxing, helping to prevent the build-up of any stale, musty, or bad odours.

4. Reduce hay fever symptoms

Although it is not as immense health risk as asthma, hay fever can still cause grief, and can also increase asthma symptoms for those who suffer from both. Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to plant pollen. While you may think that you would be better off staying inside of your home, you will still need a fresh flow of air indoors, and a specialised ventilation system can prevent the buildup of pollen, as well as reducing the need to open your windows and doors. Some units also have filters that can help to reduce the amount of pollen in the air.

5. Lessen the impact of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are another reason why home ventilation is so important. These gases can build up from many different sources, including cosmetics, air fresheners, and some cleaning products. One way to lessen the impact of VOCs is to reduce the use of these products; the other option is to control the levels via a ventilation system, the build-up of VOCs in a confined space can also contribute to several health problems.

6. Reduce the risk of rising damp with subfloor ventilation

Rising damp is essentially a flow of water from the ground up into a wall structure. The water essentially seeps into the pores of the wall. Rising damp is common in older buildings, but can also occur in more modern buildings if your damp-proof course has been damaged. Distinctive features are discolouration that make it look like the bottom section of your wall is wet, or bumps and peeling on the wall that resembles prolonged water damage. Though it may cause unsightly aesthetic damage, rising damp can also cause a buildings structure to be compromised, and cause you much more trouble in the future.

One of the ways to combat the risk of rising damp is to install a sub floor ventilation system in your Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney home. By extracting air from a subfloor crawl space we are actually stopping that moist, damp, mouldy air from pushing up into your home. The extraction process is actually pulling fresh air from outside in through the vents on the walls of your subfloor. The airflow being created then promotes drying. Zephyr Ventilation design our subfloor ventilation systems to the specific property but the aim is to achieve cross ventilation through every part of the sub floor area.

If you are interested in having your home assessed for efficient ventilation, give us a call and our home ventilation specialists will come and survey your property to give specific advice on the best system to suit your needs.

Different types of home ventilation to consider for your property

Roof Ventilation

In summer your roof can reach temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. If you are using your air conditioning system to combat the heat of summer it will be fighting this heat build up. By installing a roof ventilation system we can expel this air and the immediate impact is in reducing the amount of air conditioning your property will require which means you will spend less money and help the environment while keeping cool and comfortable.

Roof ventilation is a great way to reduce the heat in your home during the summer months and removes moisture during the winter months, which is the main cause of mould. During the winter months we all lock down our houses to keep the warmth in our homes but this also means we keep in the moisture content that we produce. The average person creates over 20 litres of moisture and as the moisture and heat rises into the space between the ceiling and roof, it creates the perfect environment for mould to form. Mould can be extremely dangerous, especially to young children and the elderly and the majority of people who have roof ventilation installed notice an immediate benefit once installation is complete.

Why does a roof space become so hot and humid?

The air in your roof space is a build up of not just the natural ventilation occurring throughout your home but also air extracted from your bathroom, shower and kitchen – especially range hoods or extractor fans over your cooker.

A variety of highly efficient roof ventilation fans and ‘whirlybirds’ can be used to extract the hot or moisture rich air from your roof space and create natural ventilation throughout your property and there are significant advantages in doing this. Hot, humid air in your roof space provides the perfect environment for mould as previously stated so removing this has measurable health benefits. Additionally, it can cause damage to the structure of your home by speeding up decay of the building materials. Both timber and metals are susceptible to decay or corrosion from this type of environment and adequate roof ventilation will help protect the longevity of your home, meaning you save money on expensive repairs later on down the line.

Sub floor Ventilation

Mould lives in dark moist environments with no air flow. A sub floor ventilation system in your Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney home is a great way to combat this situation. By extracting air from a subfloor crawl space we are actually preventing that moist, damp, mouldy air from penetrating upwards into your home. The extraction process is actually pulling fresh air from outside in through the vents on the walls of your subfloor. The airflow being created then promotes drying. At Zephyr, we design our sub floor ventilation systems on a case by case situation with the aim is to achieve cross ventilation through every part of the sub floor area.

Bathroom Ventilation

Bathrooms and laundries need to be well ventilated. Showers, clothes dryers and washing machines all add moisture to the atmosphere in your home. If this moisture is not expelled it will have a direct impact on the air quality in your home.

It’s important to understand that baths, showers, washing machines and clothes dryers produce large volumes of moisture that if left without efficient ventilation would create hot humid air in your home which would quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and mould. We’ve all seen homes that have been affected in this way and you should aim for preventative rather than corrective measures.

Mould can be extremely dangerous, especially to the elderly or young children and if you already have mould in your home you should immediately call our sister company Mouldpro for your mould removal and it’s important you don’t try and dry out the area before the mould is removed as you could spread it further throughout your home. One of our company’s most common callouts is for removal of mould from bathroom ceilings or walls. It’s far better to make sure you have the right ventilation for your bathroom in the first place.

Laundry and bathroom ventilation, for Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney homes, usually consists of extractor fans, ducts and external louvres. It’s important that you have a system that can cope with the amount of moisture that your home produces. If after being used your bathroom represents a steam room there’s a good chance that you don’t have the right type of ventilation system for your home and your needs.

Heat Recovery and Energy Recovery Ventilation

A heat recovery ventilation system exchanges fresh air from outside your property and uses the heat of the indoor air to heat the outside air as it comes in. Great during winter, though during the summer you would need the heat to be exchanged the other way around. An Energy Recovery Ventilation system does exactly this.

Once installed an Energy Recovery Ventilation unit can introduce fresh air from outside into your home. At the same time these ventilators expel the stale indoor air. With its inbuilt, highly efficient heat exchanger, it can recover 70% of the heat from the outgoing air and transfer it to the incoming fresh air. This means you get the benefits of security, no windows open, don’t lose heat and you still get fresh air into your home. Units can be ceiling or wall mounted and with inner air filters that are professionally designed to remove the pollutants of the incoming air, you will receive fresh and clean air at all times.

Which ventilation system is right for your property?

At Zephyr Ventilation we begin by examining your home and then making the appropriate recommendations for the design of a ventilation system to meet all of your specific ventilation needs. Give us a call today.

Signs that your home does not have effective ventilation

We all know that good ventilation throughout the home is important for both the health of your family and your actual building itself.

Have you ever wondered if your home has effective ventilation? Here are some signs below that may help you to decide whether you need a helping hand with your home ventilation.


You wake up every morning and there is condensation dotted around the place on window sills, window coverings, windows themselves and on your benches. This means that the air is damp and not flowing properly allowing for condensation to easily evaporate.

Does your bathroom completely dry out after showers? Does your laundry turn into a sauna when you use the dryer? These are other areas where condensation builds up and then….


What happens when condensation and damp air continues to build up? Yes, Mould growth. Mould thrives in a damp environment. If you start to notice a dank musty smell and your clothes and furniture are starting to look and feel somewhat “dusty” it is likely you could have a hidden mould problem. Of course there may be obvious signs of black or green sprinklings of mould within your home also.

Rising Damp

Rising damp occurs when excess moisture from the ground absorbs up into porous building materials such as stone, brick, earth, mortar and into the structure of the building. The moisture evaporates from either face of the wall, allowing more to be drawn from below. Rising damp is common in older buildings, but can also occur in more modern buildings if your damp-proof course has been damaged.

Though rising damp may cause unsightly aesthetic damage, it can also cause the structure of the building to be compromised and cause you bigger problems in the future. Damp walls also encourage mould growth as mentioned, which can then lead to health problems for the occupants of your home.

Having sufficient subfloor ventilation under your home will assist in preventing rising damp.

Sickness and Allergies

Does it ever feel like sickness just “lives” in your home? Well it could be due to insufficient ventilation. Not only do the viruses that enter your home continue to circulate, but having a damp environment contributes to mould, which contributes to allergies, which contributes to an unhappy household.

Extreme Temperatures

Do you find your home is too hot? It could be that your home could benefit from a good roof ventilation system. The air in your roof space is a build up of not just the natural ventilation occurring throughout your home but also air extracted from your bathroom, shower and kitchen – especially range hoods or extractor fans over your cooker.

Hot, humid air in your roof space provides the perfect environment for mould as previously stated so removing this has measurable health benefits. Additionally, it can cause damage to the structure of your home by speeding up decay of the building materials. Both timber and metals are susceptible to decay or corrosion from this type of environment and adequate roof ventilation will help protect the longevity of your home, meaning you save money on expensive repairs later on down the line.

During the summer good roof ventilation keeps your roof space cool, which means less requirement for air conditioning, you have a naturally cooler house and your electricity is much less. Having efficient roof ventilation enables you to remove all the moisture from your roof space. This means you remove the conditions necessary for dangerous mould to form, as well as protecting the materials your home is constructed from.

If your home is too cold you may benefit from a heat recovery ventilation system. A heat recovery ventilation system exchanges fresh air from outside your property and uses the heat of the indoor air to heat the outside air as it comes in.

Either way – We can help! Give us a call at Zephyr Ventilation for specialist advice on effective ventilation for your property.

What are the Benefits of Sub Floor Ventilation Systems?

Have you given much thought to the the crawl-space below your home? Most probably not. Unless an awful smell has appeared or there has been flooding, you may never have given it a second thought. Poor or non-existent underfloor ventilation can cause major issues for your home if not taken seriously – they can also become expensive.

About Sub Floor Ventilation

Even though all homes SHOULD be built with subfloor ventilation, they are sometimes not. Or they may be built with venting… but garden beds and other structures may be built up against the home blocking any air flow beneath the property structure.

If there is not efficient air flow beneath a property, there is poor ventilation. Sometimes the air flow will need to be forced by a professional subfloor ventilation system.

The Risk of Rising Damp

When the ground is very moist, that moisture can be drawn into the air under your home. That damp air can then move up and draw into the porous building materials of your home. The real risk occurs when this damp air is not expelled from underneath your property because ventilation is poor or non existent. Mould and mildew can also begin to grow, and cause a dank musty smell.

Moisture underneath and within your building material can also attract termites as the timber that provides the foundation structure of your home begins to decay. Besides the damage that termites can cause, mould, mildew, rising damp and decaying timber can also result in health problems for the inhabitants of your home.

How do Sub Floor Ventilation Systems Work?

When your home is built the most basic of subfloor ventilation is put in through the form of air vents. Quite often this does not efficiently do the job, depending on your area, individual property and climate. Sometimes taking a look at each vent may reveal a reason why it is not working the way it should, a garden bed may be built up too high against it, the property may have inadequate drainage so rain is flooding into the subfloor, or perhaps the vents have just become blocked by debris or have been originally built in an incorrect position for airflow.

Even though all may be correct with your built in vents, it may not be enough to keep your home from being affected by damp. The overall best solution is an adequate subfloor ventilation system. But how does it work? Professional subfloor fans are positioned to draw out and externally exhaust damp air, using pumps and fans that are specifically designed exactly for the job at hand. These systems are customised for your property floor plan and the type of damp issues you face in your home. Subfloor ventilation systems are extremely quiet, run on a timer system and are generally inexpensive to run.

The Benefits of a Subfloor Ventilation System

The Benefit of Termite Protection

Termites thrive in damp conditions, while feeding on timber. The risk of termites invading your home is increased where timbers have become damp and started to decay. An effective subfloor ventilation system ensures your home is less likely to be affected by termites.

The Benefit of Reduced Structural Damage

A damp subfloor can lead to structural damage. Moist air can start decay healthy timbers and attract termites.
Good ventilation helps to ensure the healthy dry timber that is the foundation of your home stays strong structurally sound without decay, rot and termite activity.

The Benefit of Limited Mould Growth

The main thing mould needs to grow is damp air. When there is mould growing in your subfloor it can cause a range of health issues which will usually trigger respiratory reactions in people which often are mistaken for allergies.

Efficient subfloor ventilation that reduces the air moisture under your home will fortunately limit mould growth.

The Benefit of Cost

There can be no price put on the cost of good health. Damp homes coupled with mould can cause a range of health issues.
The cost of termite treatments and potential structural repairs can be extremely expensive. Quite often insurance will not even cover termite damage. In comparison, the expense of good subfloor ventilation system is minimal.

Professional Subfloor Ventilation Systems Sydney Melbourne Brisbane

If you are unsure whether your property in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne has effective ventilation it is best to call a professional such as Zephyr Ventilation. We can inspect your property and give you expert advice on the right type of ventilation system for your property.

How can I remove mould from my home?

So you’ve discovered you have a mould problem in your home…. And now you’re wondering… “What’s next?” It’s definitely a smart idea to call in the professionals to deal with the issue, as you don’t want it getting out of hand and affecting the health of your family. Mould spores sprout wings and multiply – so you don’t want the problem to spread. So what usually happens when you call in a mould specialist to assess the problem?

Mould Inspection

The very first step is having a mould inspection and assessment. Mould experts will search your property for visible growth AND invisible growth. Because not all mould can be seen! Sometimes it is hidden behind walls, tiling, inside cupboards and behind furniture. A mould specialist will inspect your property for invisible mould spores and higher than usual moisture levels by using professional humidity meters. Quite often the problem with mould is lack of air ventilation, so moisture builds up until mould takes hold. Once they have thoroughly analysed your property they will determine the correct course of action needed to be taken in order to remove the mould and prevent it’s return.

Mould Correction

The next step in mould removal is to stop any direct moisture sources that may be occurring in your home – These are usually found when looking for the invisible mould sources – such as subfloor water seepage, leaking pipes – this could be behind your walls, within your ceiling, or under the floor, depending on your building structure. Leaking ceilings are another culprit, sometimes caused by leaking gutters, roof, pipes etc. Each property will need a specific course of action for their mould removal based on their situation, so the specifics of each job will be different so it’s always best to have a professional opinion.

Mould Removal

After the correct course of action has been determined for your mould removal, the process is started with a mist spray of mould removal agent. Ensure that your mould expert is using a non toxic, non hazardous, pet-friendly product. This mould removal agent is then spread across all surfaces of your home and extra scrubbing is undertaken on areas with visible mould growth. During the mould removal process air purifiers are used to capture airborne mould spores, removing them from the home environment completely, rather than just moving them around from one space to another.

Removing Excess Moisture

Sometimes moisture levels in a property can be particularly high. This could be due to flooding – either recently or even some time ago – or some other water damage that may have occurred. If this is the case mould professionals will place large dehumidifiers throughout the home to ensure that the building structures are properly dried out. They are also likely to suggest proper ventilation procedures for the home. If moisture is left in the air then mould can continue to thrive, grow again and multiply after the removal process.

Mould Prevention with Ventilation

The final step in removing mould is to ensure that mould does not return by rectifying the root cause of the mould and putting in preventative measures within the property to stop it from recurring. Each property and each case of mould problem is completely unique. At Zephyr Ventilation we can work with your mould specialist to advise you on the process that needs to be undertaken in order to achieve mould prevention now and into the future. Often the main cause of mould problems is lack of ventilation. We can advise on the correct roofing ventilation, subfloor ventilation, bathroom ventilation and more. Call us for advice today.

What is rising damp and what are the signs of a problem?

What is rising damp?

Rising damp occurs when excess moisture from the ground absorbs up into porous building materials such as stone, brick, earth, mortar and into the structure of the building. The moisture evaporates from either face of the wall, allowing more to be drawn from below. Rising damp is common in older buildings, but can also occur in more modern buildings if your damp-proof course has been damaged.

Though rising damp may cause unsightly aesthetic damage, it can also cause the structure of the building to be compromised and cause you bigger problems in the future. Damp walls also encourage mould growth, which can lead to health problems for occupants.

You can often identify rising damp by just looking at and touching your walls, though if you are unsure whether there is a real problem, it is best to have a water damage professional do an assessment.

What are the tell tale signs of rising damp?

There are a number of typical signs that can identify rising damp including:


One of the most common signs of rising damp are tide marks left on walls. Tide marks are caused by evaporation and salts from the ground. You will usually notice them anywhere up to one metre above the skirting board.

If you do not notice tide marks, another frequent tell tale sign is damp patches or staining. usually, these damp patches are yellow to brown in colour and similar to tide marks, you will notice them again up to one metre above the skirting board.


If you’ve noticed wallpaper coming off or peeling from the wall there may be a damp issue. Usually the wallpaper will start coming loose from the skirting board first, and the corner of the wallpaper may be curved up.


As with many forms of dampness, rising damp has the potential to cause rot within timbers it comes into contact with. Look out for skirtings that are cracked, easily crumble or localised fungus growing on or creeping out of the side. Also, look out for damaged or flaky paint.


Fluffy deposits in the plaster are a sign of salts within the plaster. This is another sign of rising damp. These salts are washed out of your bricks and into your plaster leaving what can often look like blistering patches on your walls.


If you start to notice black mould appearing above your skirting board it is a clear sign that there is some form of moisture issue affecting the area. This is especially true if you have no other black mould within the property and the black mould you see is localised from the skirting board to up to one metre above.

What are some other signs of rising damp?

If the above listed signs of rising damp don’t quite fit with the damp issue you’re experiencing, but you still suspect rising damp, start by running your hands around the suspected area. If you have wallpaper on your walls, you may hear a suspicious ‘crunching’ sound – this is the salts that have been drawn up from the ground. Then if possible, look at the exposed surface of the brick or stone work. Check to see if there are any salts forming and whether the brick is actually wet.

It is also important to note that rising damp only occurs on ground floor levels as it is moisture from the soil that is being drawn up the walls and therefore causing the rising damp problem.
If your damp problem is on the first floor or above, you may just simply have a condensation problem or a penetrating damp issue.

Identifying rising damp

Sometimes rising damp can be misdiagnosed. So if you are not sure and you want some expert advice, give us a call at Zephyr Ventilations. We can assess your moisture problem and give you the right specialised advice.

How can I prevent mould growth?

What conditions in the home are best for mould growth?

Keeping mould from growing in your home is really important for the health of you and your family. The first step in keeping mould under control in your home is discovering what areas and conditions are best for mould growth. Mould spores thrive and multiply in moist wet conditions. How does mould grow? Mould grows easily when moisture and humidity are present. Mould spores search for a damp surface in your home so that they can begin to grow and thrive.

What does mould need to Grow? Mould spores need three things in order to grow and multiply. That being nutrients, moisture and time. Mould can start to grow on a surface in the right conditions in as little as 24 hours.

How can I prevent mould growth in my house?

Mould spores are everywhere. They are carried by air currents throughout your home. They look for a moist dark environment where they settle and multiply. In order to prevent mould growth in your home is to maintain your home in order to keep out excess moisture. This includes having your roof checked regularly for leaks, have plumbing maintained and drying any spills, leaks or flooding that may occur.

It is recommended that home humidity levels are kept to to 30-50% to prevent mould growth. Mould also grows efficiently in warmer more humid climates, and blossoms at 25 to 30 °C. Condensation on or around windows can be an indication that your home’s moisture levels are too high. Two ways a homeowner can decrease the humidity in the home is by increasing ventilation and buying a dehumidifier.

To increase your home’s ventilation, be sure to use correctly vented exhaust fans while in the kitchen and bathroom, to reduce the moisture in the air. Ensure that ventilation throughout your home is adequate to keep up with moisture levels, consider sub-floor ventilation and roof ventilation as well as high quality bathroom and laundry ventilation systems. If your home is still struggling with higher than advisable humidity levels, consider buying a dehumidifier to maintain a optimum levels of humidity resistant to mould growth. Make sure you purchase a dehumidifier that will cover the square footage necessary for your building.

Flooding and other water damage

Flooding is a serious risk factor for mould growth. When excessive amounts of water enter a building and remain for a period of time, mould will begin to develop in as little as 24 hours. Therefore prompt action is needed in the event of a flood to prevent or reduce mould damage in your home.

You may wish to hire a professional to restore your home after a flood. This is a very good option because a professional water damage specialist has the credentials and equipment to deal with flood and water damage in a home most flood damage specialists will even deal with your insurance for you.

Where does mould grow best?

The kitchen and bathroom are often places in your home that mould likes to grow. The humidity from baths, showers, cooking, and washing dishes is often higher in these rooms. Kitchens and bathrooms usually have more plumbing than other areas of your home which could develop leaks within the walls. If you have a roof leak, the ceiling could be harbouring mould. It is important to check for leaks in these areas, monitor the humidity, set up proper ventilation and dry up any condensation that develops. Be sure to also check for mould in air conditioning and heating ducts, washing machines, dishwashers, and in the shower and bathtub.

Preventing mould Indoors

Prevention is better than cure and it It is always better to take action to prevent mould through keeping your home in the right conditions rather than dealing with an expensive and unhealthy mould issue in the future. The right ventilation systems and performing routine maintenance can save a lot of money by avoiding mould contamination in the long run. The following six steps will significantly reduce your risk of mould or other issues in the home.

  • Monitor indoor humidity
  • Clean and repair roof gutters
  • Dry wet materials quickly
  • Fix leaks
  • Increase ventilation
  • Have your roof checked regularly

So, how do we prevent mould growing in our house? The key is to reduce the conditions that are best for mould growth. What does mould need to grow? Nutrients, moisture, and time If you control the moisture, clean up and dry water damage, and reduce the time water or moisture is allowed to remain (within 24 hours), mould will have less of a chance to take up residence in your home.

Give us a call at Zephyr Ventilations. We can advise on the best solutions for ventilation for your home to prevent mould issues. If you feel you may already have a mould issue our sister company will be able to assist you with mould removal services.

What to do after your home has been water damaged by flooding

There are many reasons a home can be flooded – flash flooding from a blocked street drain, heavy rain, river banks bursting due to king tides, plumbing mishaps and damaged pipes that fail. All of which can cause mild to severe water damage in your home.

Is my home safe to enter after a flood?

When a house is flooded it can cause major problems for the structure of your home, your belongings and health of your family environment. As flood water can contain mud, wildlife, rubbish and other contaminants. Cleaning up is a long process and much will need to be sanitised and or discarded. A severe flood may even damage ducts, air conditioning units, the roofing and sometimes even the foundation.

The first thing after a flood is to call your insurance company. If you are covered for flooding they will advise on what they need from you in regards to making your claims. Secondly it is best to get your home checked over by a water damage expert to ensure that it is safe to enter structurally. Depending on the severity of the flooding, major damage can occur to buildings during a flood.

The big cleanout begins

After you have been given the all clear to enter your home you will need to start the big cleanout. The first step is to shovel out all the mud, and wash away from hard surfaces. Most furniture will also need to be moved out of the home. Mattresses should always be disposed of, as well as any soft toys and decor that can’t be machine washed, and upholstered furniture should only be cleaned by a professional if not, they may be too contaminated to be salvaged.

Photographs, books and any important paperwork can be popped into a snaplock bag, frozen and cleaned later on. They will need to dry slowly and carefully, while sometimes need professional cleaning and restoration services.

Clothing, toys, bedding and soft furnishings should all be washed on hot cycles to kill any germs. All kitchenware and harder toys should be disinfected. Cupboards and counters in the kitchen need to be cleaned the same way before kitchenware can be stored again. In fact all surfaces within your home should be cleaned with hot water and heavy duty cleaner.

Mould after a flood

Sometimes after flood waters recede there has already been a significant amount of time for mould and mildew to develop in your home. If you see the tell tale signs of mould, it is best to leave it to a professional to assess the situation. Mould spores spread and scatter so easily within a house, and breathing them in can be harmful to your health. If you do need to keep working on cleaning out your home in the interim, be sure to wear a two-strap protective mask to prevent breathing in the mould spores, and do not do anything that may cause the mould to spread further.

Ceilings and walls after flooding

Sometimes walls will need to be remediated professionally or fully replaced. It depends on the severity and depth of the flood waters and their contaminants. Once again it is best to have your building fully assessed by a flood damage expert to see what needs to be done. Sometimes if flood depths are high enough even roof insulation will need to be replaced. Sometimes it can be salvaged, depending on it’s type and the damage that has occurred. Plaster and paneling can often be saved, but air must be circulated in the wall cavities to dry the studs and sills.

Electrical and appliances in the flooded home

All electricals must be switched off and inspected by an electrician before they can be turned back on. The wiring must be completely dried out, even behind the walls. Mud can be widespread and possibly may have contaminated electrical components.

Appliances may obtain stains, odors, silt deposits, and gritty deposits and will need to be serviced, cleaned and sanitised. Running equipment before it is properly cleaned could seriously damage it and/or shock you. Professional cleaning and servicing is recommended for electronics, TVs and radios, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners. The hard exterior can be hand cleaned. All metallic appliances that have been flooded should be properly grounded to prevent electric shock.

Flooded flooring

All carpets must be removed so that a water damage expert can inspect the subflooring and commence professional floor drying services as soon as possible.

Wooden floors should be dried gradually. Sudden drying could cause cracking or splitting. Wood fly drying specialists can advise on the correct procedures and timeframes.

How ventilation systems can help

After a home has been flooded it is extremely important first of all that a structural drying service has been commenced. There will always be an excess of build up in moisture and risk of mould unless you get a specialist in to set up effective ventilation within your home. Roof ventilation will help with completely drying out the roof cavity and ceiling while sub-floor ventilation will ensure that underneath your floors get the drying they need to combat water damage.

Zephyr have a team of ventilation specialists who can visit your home and provide professional advice on the best ventilation system for your type of property. Give us a call and one of our staff will assist you with your questions on water damage today.