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Eliminate mold immediately, otherwise there is a risk of serious illness
In cold weather, condensation forms quickly on the windows and doors. This should be removed immediately, as the mold spores can pose a significant health risk. Experts such as Rolf Buschmann from the North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Center in Düsseldorf warn that the only way to prevent further spread is to eliminate mold immediately. In addition, a timely removal of the mold is also advisable from the point of view of energy consumption, since this can result in so-called cold bridges that significantly increase the heating requirement.
Removing mold as quickly as possible According to the expert from the consumer advice center, many tend to remove the mold only when the weather is better in spring, which is fundamentally the wrong approach. Those affected should do the mold removal "as quickly as possible, otherwise the problem will only get bigger", Rolf Buschmann told the news agency "dpa". In addition, the mold is associated with a health risk that should not be underestimated and, moreover, the affected seals or moldy corners in the room usually form a cold bridge, which significantly increases energy consumption, the specialist explained. However, the connection can also be reversed here. Namely, that condensation water collects on existing cold bridges due to the temperature gradient and therefore mold is formed. In any case, however, the cold bridges must be removed immediately.
"Moisture and mold formation" guide The consumer advice center has updated its "Moisture and mold formation" guide to correctly deal with mold infestation in living rooms, listing all the necessary measures. For example, mold, metal, ceramic, glass or painted wood is relatively easy to remove with an ordinary household cleaner, according to the guide. Chemical special agents are generally not required here, especially since the chlorine compounds contained in them can in turn affect health, according to the consumer center. After the mold was removed, the cleaned surfaces should be rubbed off with 80 percent ethyl alcohol and then dried thoroughly, the experts continued. With silicone as the sealing material, the affected areas should be completely removed and re-sealed, the adviser recommends "Moisture and mold growth".
Surface treatment of the mold is often not enough. While wiping with a household cleaner is sufficient for smooth, sealed surfaces such as metal or ceramics, mold removal on other surfaces often becomes a real challenge. According to Rolf Buschmann, for example, simple cleaning is usually not enough for untreated wood. As a rule, the problem here is not only superficial, but the mold has moved into the material, the expert explained. After the superficial mold has been removed, an expert should be consulted urgently to check whether mold has also formed in deeper layers of the material. The expert should also determine the causes of the mold in order to avoid its occurrence in the future.
Threatening health risks from mold The possible health risks from mold are extremely diverse and should never be underestimated. For example, mold-related diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract, bronchitis, cough, fever, shortness of breath, irritated eyes with corresponding reddening of the eyes, irritation of the skin (neurodermatitis) and an increased susceptibility to infections are mentioned in the specialist literature. Asthma in toddlers can also be triggered by the mold, US researchers reported last year in the journal "Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology". Furthermore, concentration disorders, chronic fatigue and exhaustion are considered possible consequences of mold. Muscle pain, gastrointestinal complaints and numerous other allergies can also be caused by the mold. If mold is discovered in the living room, haste is therefore advisable and urgent provision must be made for it to be removed promptly. (fp)
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