18. Mould & Fungi 07.08.2015 (PDF)

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Author: Andrew R.J. Dudgeon

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Mould & Fungi
As the temperature of a given volume of air increases, the capacity to hold & carry water vapour with it
Water vapour has a greater capacity to hold energy, than air. With more water vapour being held in air,
the more energy a similar volume of air will hold.
There is a point at which water vapour can no longer remain as a vapour, this is called the Dew Point,
& is the temperature at which when air is cooling reaches 100% Relative Humidity & must change state into
water (Condenses) by forming droplets. This may be on a colder surface, or within a cloud, as the droplet
size (& weight) increases it forms rain, or runs down the cold surface.
If water vapour forms on a cold surface it is called Condensation, [Dangerous because it can encourage
bacterial growths] if it forms within a building structure (inside insulation) it is called Interstitial Condensation.
[Dangerous because it can lead to rotting of the structure]

Airtight Homes
Modern dwellings are designed with increasingly reduced air infiltration rates and higher levels of
insulation making them almost completely sealed. Consequently the air inside can become moist, stale and
generally stuffy & unpleasant to breathe.

Dampness is a huge problem in the U.K. Damaging to both humans, and to the fabric of building.
Condensation forms when the temperature of a surface (walls, mirror etc.) is below the dew point of the
surrounding air. This leads to streaming windows and walls and ultimately to mould.
Signs of Condensation:

Streaming windows

Black mould on walls or fabrics and furnishings

Musty smells
Condensation accounts for approximately 70% of reported damp problems in domestic dwellings.

Does your property have this problem?

Mould & Fungi
Unchecked levels of moisture (condensation) and relative humidity combined with a suitable organic
breeding place such as wood, carpet, wall paper etc., will inevitably lead to mould growth & fungal growths.
Mildew forms in wall cavities and crevices and microscopic mould spores can be inhaled by humans triggering
asthma, allergies and skin disorders. Spores from certain types of mildew, mould & fungi can cause serious
respiratory illnesses. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) identifies damp and mould as
one of the 24 hazards which could cause 'risk or harm to health and safety of an actual or potential occupier'.
Trevor Clark - 07.08.2015

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