Mould is a type of fungi that lives on plant and animal matter, and is commonly found in both outdoor and indoor environments. It grows best on damp and poorly ventilated areas, and can be a fairly common nuisance for apartment dwellers, especially during winter.

Finding mould in your apartment is inconvenient and can also be unhealthy. Mould spores can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, coughs or respiratory infections, and worsen asthma or allergic conditions. If left unchecked it can also destroy household items such as mattresses, furniture and carpets.

The best way to control mould is to prevent it from appearing in the first place. You can do this by controlling the sources of moisture, including humidity and condensation, in your apartment:

  • Fix leaks immediately. Broken plumbing and leaks should be fixed as soon as possible. Alert your Owners Corporation manager if you notice a leak in common areas, or if you suspect that it may be coming from another apartment.
  • Increase ventilation. Be sure your apartment is properly ventilated, especially in areas that tend to retain moisture such as kitchens and bathrooms. If possible, use your exhaust fan or open windows when showering, cooking or using the dishwasher. Leave doors open and the exhaust fan running for a few minutes after showering to increase ventilation in the bathroom.
  • Provide fresh air. Opening the windows in your apartment for a few minutes every morning and evening will help keep the whole unit well ventilated. Consider opening the windows while you are getting ready for work or when you return home.
  • Maintain a thorough cleaning routine. A regular cleaning routine will help minimize the chance of mould growing in your apartment. Be extra careful with surfaces such as sinks and floors that get wet frequently, and make sure no moisture remains once you finish cleaning. You can find more information about cleaning and avoiding mould here.
  • Dry wet materials as soon as possible. Mould can grow pretty quickly given the right conditions. Avoid leaving wet clothes and towels lying around for more than a day, and consider drying your laundry near an open window or exhaust fan if you don’t have a dryer.

If you do find mould in your apartment that doesn’t go away with cleaning, contact a professional service to deal with it. Your Owners Corporation manager might be able to guide you in the process.