Mold - an uninvited guest

Information on mold formation and prevention
Mold is a problem which affects nearly all buildings these days. It is usually discovered by tenants or inhabitants and then reported to the owner of the premises. An then the search for the guilty party starts: principal or building company, manufacturers, the government and its regulations, or the tenant maybe? A clear-cut answer is usually not possible. However, there are ways to prevent mold, by all parties.

What causes mold, where does it go?
From a biological point of view, mold can be assigned to the fungi group. There are some 2,500,000 species of which approx. 50,000 are classed as sub-species of mold. They form part of the natural "inhabitants" of our planet - even as far as distant areas of the atmosphere. As single airborne spores they do not represent any danger. Only when they find a suitable nutrient and settle do they start spreading. And a nutrient is easily found. Mold does not require light, only little oxygen to grow, and is perfectly at home at temperatures of approx. 20 °C which are common in most housings.br /> These microorganisms prefer a humidity of 80 %. Which is not a problem in bathrooms, kitchens as well as in heated or poorly ventilated rooms.

What can you do once mold is present?
Correct room hygiene of the inhabitants is decisive to make sure that mold cannot settle. A simple solution: rinse and dry joints carefully after showering. A towel or rubber window cleaner are quite sufficient.
In addition the surface can be disinfected subsequently using an alcohol solution (i.e. 70-80% methylated spirits in water). And then there is a final option to get rid of mold, ventilate, ventilate and ventilate.

Give mold air.
Providing good climatic conditions for rooms by regular ventilation is then the responsibility of the user. Provided of course, that the joints were done professionally - preferably by a certified provider. Room climate is burdened by the inhabitants with carbon dioxide, smells and water vapor. At relative high humidity this water vapor can however condense in areas where the temperature is lower than the surrounding air. For example, in room corners facing the outside wall or windows. .
However, many people are not aware of how and when best to ventilate a room. We have therefore summarized the most relevant facts on the topic of "ventilation", and these can also be used as information for customers and downloaded under tips for ventilation.

How to ventilate correctly!

Ventilation via windows.
When ventilating rooms through windows, used air leaves and fresh air enters through the same window. This method of ventilation is common practice. The flow of air volume through the window depends on the open cross section, temperature difference and wind speed. In so-called "rapid impact ventilation", the leaf is opened wide. To achieve the same amount of ventilation with tilt ventilation takes considerably more time and can lead to high energy losses.

. Cross-ventilation.
Cross-ventilation utilizes the pressure difference between the sides of the building facing and not facing the wind. Fresh air flows in from one side of the facade and used air exits on the other side of the facade. Cross-ventilation allows for fastest and most efficient exchange of air in rooms.

 . How long is enough?
Optimal ventilation depends on the time of season. Colder outdoor air contains less humidity than warm air in rooms. When outdoor air turns warmer in rooms it can absorb additional moisture. The high temperature difference between outdoor and indoor air during winter leads to a rapid and effective exchange of air, i.e. moisture absorption of the incoming outdoor air increases with the difference in temperatures. As a rule one can use the following reference values for ventilation periods for single-sided ventilation:
December to February 5 minutes
March and November 10 minutes
April, May as well as September and October 15 minutes
June, July and August 25 minutes
To remove moisture from rooms, the windows should be opened several times per day depending on the use of the rooms..

Bedrooms are a special case.
Compared with other rooms, bedrooms have the highest relative humidity. And this increases the risk of mold. Permanent tilting of windows overnight is a useful method of ventilation to avoid mold. This does however result in higher energy consumption and is often not possible due to environmental conditions. In principle it is possible to ventilate accordingly on the next day. This requires a ventilation period of approx. 30 minutes at fully opened windows in the early morning. If this subsequent ventilation can only be done in the evening, ventilation time doubles.
Reference: VFF bulletin, ES.05: 2004-01

Ventilation of rooms without windows.
And another tip: air exchange in bathrooms and other rooms without windows must be facilitated by indirect ventilation. For example, by ventilators installed in the ventilation ducts. It should also be noted that these ventilators are often coupled with the light switch and that a short stay in the bathroom is not sufficient to provide an optimal exchange of air. The ventilator should be left on for a longer period of time.

. Health hazard due to mold .
Once mold has established itself in rooms - and if it is not discovered quickly and removed - it can lead to permanent damage to health, for example:

  • allergies
  • respiratory disease including asthma
  • skin rashes
  • sleep disturbances
  • In the worst case it can result in exposure to carcinogenic substances formed by some mold species.

This is a serious topic and requires your attention.

Tips on ventilation

You have purchased new high-quality windows elements from Schillinger. To make sure you are pleased and satisfied with your windows, here are a few tips on care and maintenance. [Link]