How to Get Rid of Mould in Cars, Clean the Cabin Filter & Keep Your Car Fresh

Introduction: Mould in Cars is Harmful, Here’s How to Prevent it

Mould is an allergen that can be found in many enclosed spaces. It’s important to be aware of how it can affect your health and take steps to prevent it.

The material that mould grows on is organic, meaning that it needs moisture to survive. Mould will thrive by sitting happily on food, animal dander, leather, and other damp materials.

Mould can also grow in cars because the car’s cabin is an enclosed space with limited circulation. Floor mats and the carpet lining in a car can harbour high levels of dust.

 

Step 1: Clean Your Car & Get Rid of Dust

Aside from washing and waxing the exterior of the car, the interior should be vacuumed weekly with a HEPA-filter vacuum and power head brush. The powerhead vacuum brush head stirs up the dust from the floor mats and carpet lining, giving it a deep clean. It should take you 10 to 20 minutes to complete. Use appropriate vacuum brush head for the car seats.

Using a damp microfibre cloth, wipe down the non-porous surfaces to remove surface dust. Then use a dry microfibre cloth to dry the surface.

Replace the cabin air filter every 10,000km or annually. This should also be done for the engine air filter as well. Go to your local Repco retailer to do a DIY cabin air filter replacement.

 

Step 2: Avoid Professional Car Detailers and Steam Cleaning

Professional car detailers will wash the car with a high-pressure water cleaner. This inevitably wets the interior lining of the car. Avoid using high-pressure water cleaners, steam cleaner or a steam vacuum.

 

Stay Healthy and Enjoy Driving Your Car!

If you suspect mould, you can hire a Building Biologist to do a mould air testing sample for laboratory confirmation. This will provide an accurate reading on the presence or absence of it.

The Health Risks of Fungi, Moulds and Mycotoxins in Homes

mould - roof cavity mould growth

Introduction

The Facts of Mould, Fungi and Mycotoxins

Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in moist and humid environments. When mould grows, it produces toxins called mycotoxins. Mould also releases spores which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems in some people.

The most common type of mould is Penicillium and Aspergillus. These moulds grow on organic materials like food, paper, carpeting and wood floors. The conditions that help mould grow are moisture, warmth and poor ventilation. Mould causes health problems when it grows in the home because it can produce mycotoxins that are toxic to humans or animals.

Mould usually starts to overgrow when the humidity level in the house reaches around 70%. Moulds release spores which float through the air until they land on a moist surface where they can start to grow

 

Importance of Controlling Spores from Fungal Growth in Homes

 

In Australia, the air quality inside homes is worse than outside. This is because indoor air has been found to have more pollution and microorganisms. The main source of these substances are from microbial spores that are released into the air from various sources such as furniture, carpets, and tap water.

The fact is that these spores can cause a lot of health problems in people such as asthma, allergies, breathing problems, and even cancer. People who have a weaker immune system or a chronic condition can suffer more from these spores.

 

Human Infection Risk Factors of Mould Toxicity

Certain species of mould can produce mycotoxins, which are harmful to human health. Exposure to mould can cause the person to become sick, and even lead to death.

Mould exposure is a major problem at home and in the workplace. It is estimated that over 1 billion people worldwide are exposed to damp indoor environments that promote mould growth. The most common health effects of exposure to mould are allergic reactions or irritations of the skin, nose, throat, eye or ear.

Some people may be at increased risk for developing health effects from exposure, such as those with asthma or allergies; those with chronic lung disease such as bronchitis, which is often accompanied by frequent infections; those who have had a lung transplant; those who have a weakened immune system.

InovaAir Mould Air Purifier - E8 Activated Carbon H13 HEPA filter

Conclusion

Preventing Infections & Illness by Reducing Mould Exposure

Mould can grow in a variety of locations and thrive in damp, dark, cool places. It is important to physically remove mould spores and hypha fragments. Fogging does not remove it. Mycotoxins can still be present on mould spores. Professional mould remediation by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC S520) professional is recommended.

In conclusion, we can reduce mould exposure by using an air purifier with a HEPA filter and a solid activated carbon filter as a short-term solution. Dehumidifiers will also manage the moisture and humidity in the air. The long-term solution is to remediate the moisture or humidity problem and remove the mould.

 

The Mould Guide, All About Mould and What to Do About It

What Exactly is Mould and How does it Occur?

Mould is a type of fungus that can grow nearly anywhere. It can be found in moist, dark, and damp environments like kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and even on food.

Mould spores are all around us- they float through the air from plant to plant and from animal to animal. Mould grows when it finds a food source such as wood or a wet carpet- essentially any surface with water on it for an extended period of time.

Mould can be very dangerous because some types produce toxic substances called mycotoxins, which cause problems for the lungs and immune system. Others may trigger asthma.

Mould Prevention

Mould is a living organism that can grow quickly in moist places. In most cases, it is found in areas with high humidity and low ventilation. Mould thrives on dampness and it cannot be eliminated from a home or business.

In order to prevent mould from growing, these steps should be taken:

1) Keep all areas dry and well-ventilated

2) Inspect wet areas every day for leaks

3) Do not use a humidifier

4) Keep dust levels low

5) Regularly clean your home with microfibre cloths and HEPA vacuuming.

 

Factors Contributing to Mould Growth

Moulds can be found everywhere in the environment around us. The most common mould species is Cladosporium and it prefers humid dusty environments.

One of the main factors that contribute to mould growth is high relative humidity and dampness. High humidity and dampness may come from external sources, such as the presence of a leaky roof or condensation on walls inside a building.

Mould starts to grow when there is plenty of food available, such as wood, paper, fiberboard, carpeting or insulation materials like polyester and foam rubber.

 

Types of Mould and their Effects on Humans

Mould is a type of fungi that grows on organic matter. It can be found in the home on a variety of surfaces, including wood, paper, and fabric. With some moulds being toxic to humans and pets alike.

There are three different types of mould that can grow in your home:

There are many harmful effects that come with having any type of mould in the house. These effects include allergic reactions, asthma, or chemical sensitivities. For those who already have asthma or allergies, this could cause their symptoms to worsen drastically.

 

Are You Susceptible to Mould?

Mould can cause health problems. If you are susceptible, you will likely experience the symptoms of mould exposure more quickly than someone who is not as susceptible.

Mould is a type of fungus that grows on damp surfaces. It thrives in dark, damp, and warm areas like your home. Some people are more susceptible to mould than others and can suffer from Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) or chronic fatigue. This may lead to an array of symptoms such as fever, headaches, aches and pains, sinusitis or chest congestion.

 

Conclusion: Preventing & Caring for your Home from Moulds

In this section, we will try to discuss the prevention and care for your home from moulds.

Mould is a fungus that grows in places where there is moisture and food. Moulds release toxic substances that affect our health when we breathe in the spores or touch it. The signs of mould growth in your home may not be visible or easy to spot so it’s important to keep an eye out for the following signs.

– Water spots on walls or ceilings, which can indicate leaks or condensation on uninsulated pipes.

– Odors of mustiness, mildew, rotting plants, musty paper, wet newspapers, rotten eggs – these are common odors associated with mould growth.

– Curling of wallpaper or peeling paint – this can happen when moisture gets trapped behind the wall covering or paint, causing it to expand and create bubbles

It is always better to hire a qualified building biologist from Balanced Building Biology to complete a mould and moisture assessment of your building. They use professional equipment and know what to look for. They can also complete a mould test for laboratory analysis.

Mould and Residential Tenancies: Everything You Need to Know

surface sample of mould growth on further

What is Mould?

Mould is a type of fungus that can be found in damp environments. It is a problematic substance for buildings and homes because it can spread quickly and cause a lot of damage.

Mould is also often associated with the smell of earthy, musty odours which are noticeable from a few meters away from the building or home.

It is important to be able to identify mould so you know what you are dealing with and how to get rid of it. There are different types of mould, all requiring different treatment methods.

Some molds may not seem very dangerous but still have an effect on our health or on our homes’ structure if left untreated for too long.

How Does Mould Spread and How Do You Recognise It?

Did you know that one (1) in three (3) homes in Australia has mould growth? The key to preventing the spread of mould is to act on the early signs.

Mould spreads by producing microscopic spores, which can travel through air and settle in places where they find the right conditions to grow.

Mould looks like different colours, depending on what it is made of. There are many kinds of moulds, but most are black or greenish-black.

Mould creates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which create smells and odours. Typical smells are musty or earthy. When left untreated, mould may also cause respiratory problems, allergies and other issues.

mould sampling on ceiling

Tenants Rights and Obligations

Tenants have certain rights and obligations which are defined by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This law ensures that tenants have a safe and secure place to live.

The Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 defines what a tenant’s obligations are in regards to what they can do or not do in the property. It also defines the required standard of cleanliness and maintenance for rental properties.

The landlord is also required to provide a home that is fit for habitation, structurally sound and kept in reasonable repair.

For more information, here’s a mould factsheet from Tenants.org.au

Minimum Standards Checklist

The Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 has a minimum standards checklist for you to use before signing the tenancy agreement.

The landlord must indicate whether the following apply to the residential premises:

  1. signs of mould

  2. signs of dampness

  3. if there is a pests/vermin problem

  4. If there is loose-filled asbestos or rubbish is left on premises

Make sure you check out the checklist. It starts on Page 49.

Should I hire a building biologist to assess the rental home for mould?

One of the best decisions is to hire a building biologist.

Building biologists assess the condition of an entire home, rather than one room or area. They assess the entire home for mould and they determine the root cause.

Hire a building biologist for a mould & moisture assessment:

  • Pre-lease / pre-rental inspections – find out before you move in.

  • Post-rental inspections – You may not have noticed a problem until you moved in.

An experienced company such as Balanced Building Biology can assess your entire home for mould and they will provide an expert report on the current condition of the rental for you to consider.

If there is significant issues you can engage the landlord or real estate agent for action.

The Building Biologist’s Report

Once you get the mould report from the building biologist, you can show just the summary to the landlord to see what they propose doing about fixing the problem. If they still refuse to act, you may want to consider whether you should break the lease and move out of the property or take legal action.

Legal action may mean, taking your issue to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). However, it is always best to try and resolve this with the real estate agent and/or the landlord.

The building biologist will need to be made aware ahead of time if you require a report for NCAT.

Fixing the Source of the Problem

When it comes to fixing a mould issue, focus on fixing the source of the problem, which is usually water leaks, humidity or condensation. Sometimes, a damp and wet subfloor / crawl space can be the culprit for your indoor air quality issues.

The real estate agent or landlord will need to address cause of the mould growth.

What if there is significant mould damage to my belongings?

The building biologist is not a mould remediator. Mould remediation needs to occur by a properly trained and IICRCcertified expert. The building biologist report should be used by the mould remediator to determine the scope of works and provide a quote for remediation.

This remediation quote may be the basis of a claim for loss or damage during the NCAT hearing, but ensure that the building biologist has sampled the potentially damaged items and had them laboratory-tested.

The Cost of Living with a Mouldy Home

If there is mould in your rented home and the landlord refuses to do anything about it, you might want to consider your options.

At this point, if you have been living in a mouldy home for a significant period of time, your health may be at risk and you definitely need to take action. This is usually the case for most of my clients. If you are looking for a new rental home, consider getting a pre-lease inspection before signing a rental agreement.