Out with the mould

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has published an article on CSIROscope about the dangers of mould and how to prevent it.

Mould causes health issues and can damage buildings. A fungal growth that loves moisture, it can generally be found in poorly ventilated areas of the house where damp has a chance to build up.

The authors recommend ventilating rooms with fresh air, checking insulation and window glazing, and treating any mould as soon as you see it.

The article also explores how to address more serious damp and mould problems. It comes at a time when householders in some parts of Australia are particularly exposed to these issues because of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Building Science Manager at Pro Clima, Jesse Clarke, M.AIRAH, says damage in buildings emerging from moisture can include:

  • Water ingress into construction systems that cannot dry out
  • Water trapped from materials that got wet during construction
  • Build up of moisture from normal operation and condensation forming interstitially within the structure
  • Or the combination of all three of the above things.

AIRAH’s Building Physics Virtual Forum 2020 is also focusing on air movement, thermal performance and the control of moisture across building envelopes this year.

The Forum will include presentations from experts, professionals and practitioners in Australia’s built environment.

The theme of moisture control follows the recent release of AIRAH’s newest DA manual, DA07 Criteria for Moisture Control Design Analysis in Buildings.

Clarke says the guide aims to solve the longer-term moisture issues in building structures.

“Essentially it allows a building to be designed as a system with HVAC, insulation systems and building envelope-ran control all working together,” he says.

“DA07 is a derivative of ASHRAE 160, which is designed to be used in any climate with the ability to take climate data from any location and utilise indoor HVAC temperature and humidity set-points to assess condensation and high humidity in the structure which can lead to mould growth, corrosion or timber rot.”

Please click here to read Unfriendly fungi: Dealing with a mouldy house, or click here to find out more about AIRAH’s Building Physics Virtual Forum 2020.

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