Expert Franc Zaccaria gives tips
This is how you recognize hidden mold in the apartment
The mold infestation in Flawil SG is by no means the only one in Switzerland. An expert explains how to identify mold early and what to do about it.
Mold expert Franc Zaccaria.
Sandro Zulianreporter news
Hardly moved in, the mold was rampant in the apartment of Oksana Schmidt (39) from Flawil SG. She is not an isolated case. “Mould is a very big problem in Switzerland,” says Franc Zaccaria. According to statistics, about every fifth house is more or less affected. The managing director of the painter Langhart GmbH in Zurich has specialized in mold infestation. He explains to Blick what to look out for in the event of an infestation – and how to identify mold early on.
“You should check the back of the furniture, especially in winter and on furniture that’s placed on outside walls,” he says. Tip from the professional: You can measure the humidity by buying a hygrometer. Ideally, the humidity in winter should average 50 percent.
How do you know if mold has been painted over?
As soon as you enter a house, you can identify possible causes of mold. A hidden clue: crumbling plaster. If you discover cracks on the facade, this can be a sign of damp walls – the perfect breeding ground for mold. You should also definitely check the window frames. The fungus often forms first on the silicone seals and remains undetected at first glance.
Particularly nasty: In order not to have to pay for the damage yourself, any mold is often simply painted over. “As a layperson, you can hardly tell, unless the painting work was not done properly and you can see a changed surface structure or if there are color differences,” says Zaccaria. A mold expert, on the other hand, can usually determine this through various measurements.
The darker, the more dangerous
There are around 200,000 different types of mold. “Really bad are about 20 of them. The darker the mold, the more dangerous it is,” explains Zaccaria. The causes of mold infestation can be very diverse. In many cases, the problem is due to both structural defects and the usage behavior of the residents, the expert summarizes.
The best way to prevent mold is to ventilate properly: Open the window fully two to four times a day for five to ten minutes each time – not just tilt it.