With winter cold and rain an everyday fact of life, it feels inevitable that New Zealand homes will grow mould in the corners of bathrooms and wardrobes - but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Breathing spores from some types of mould can prompt respiratory issues like asthma, while New Zealand is also home to toxic black mould, Stachybotrys chartarum, which can only be dealt with by a professional.

One in four New Zealand renters live in homes with mould issues.

Consumer NZ’s James le Page sat down with Breakfast to provide some tips and tricks to avoid mould spores growing in your home this winter.

“Mould spores are in 100% of homes in New Zealand”, le Page said.

“You’ve got to create an environment that’s inhospitable to them to grow.”

He suggested using an extractor fan in the bathroom and wiping down windows when condensation forms.

“Making sure that when you are cooking you are using your rangehood as well,” as this can remove a lot of moisture from the kitchen.

He also suggests not drying clothes inside, especially in the winter, as that can add up to five litres of moisture to the air.

If you really must dry your clothes inside, open your doors and windows to increase ventilation.

“10 minutes will completely clear out the air in your house, and you are starting fresh for the day, so hopefully there is not as much moisture for the mould [to grow].”

As for enclosed spaces, like wardrobes, le Page said those areas consistently have “higher humidity” than the rooms that they are in, because they are closed up and not getting any air movement.

“Even just cracking the door in the wardrobe will go a long way to hopefully stopping mould growing.”

Toi Te Ora Public Health suggests that if you already have mould in your home, spray affected areas with undiluted white vinegar, leave that to sit for a few days, then clean the area with soap and water.

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