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Preventing Mould Growth: Causes and Solutions for UAE Summers

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Mould in the house or flat is not only unsightly but can also cause serious health problems. To prevent mould growth, it is crucial to understand its causes and take the right preventive measures. This blog post will explore how mould develops, the factors promoting its formation, and effective ways to prevent mould in your house or flat, especially during the hot and humid UAE summer.

Read on to find out:

  • What is mould?
  • Causes and development of mould
  • Preventing mould growth: How it works
  • Recognising and eliminating the cause of mould
  • Mould in rented flats

What is Mould?


Mould is a collective term for various types of fungi that grow on organic materials and spread through microscopically small spores. These fungi belong to the group of microorganisms and are prevalent in nature. Moulds thrive in damp and warm environments, which makes them particularly resilient, even under extreme conditions.

In nature, moulds play an essential role in decomposing organic material, making nutrients available for other organisms. There are approximately 250,000 different types of mould, with 100,000 known varieties. While not all moulds pose a danger to humans, some are used in medicine production or food refinement, such as cheese. However, moulds indoors can cause significant health problems.


Here are some common types of mould found in flats and houses that can be hazardous to health:

  • Black Mould: Often found in damp areas like bathrooms or behind furniture, this mould can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and may even be carcinogenic.
  • Green Mould: Typically grows on food and damp ceilings or walls, causing severe allergic reactions and respiratory issues.
  • Red Mould: Commonly affects food products and materials like wood and paper, leading to respiratory illnesses.
  • White Mould: Found in cool, damp areas, it can irritate mucous membranes and cause skin problems, colds, and respiratory issues.
  • Yellow Mould: Rare but dangerous, this mould grows on fabrics and upholstered furniture and produces aflatoxin, a toxin associated with liver cancer and heart failure.


Causes and Development of Mould

Moisture is the primary cause of mould growth. It can arise from condensation, water damage, or excessive humidity. In the UAE, particularly during the summer, high temperatures combined with elevated humidity levels create ideal conditions for mould growth. Here’s a closer look at the contributing factors:

  • Condensation: Often occurs on cold surfaces like windows or walls, especially in air-conditioned environments where there is a significant temperature difference between indoors and outdoors.
  • Water Damage: Burst pipes, leaking roofs, or floods can create ideal conditions for mould to grow.
  • Structural Defects: Poor insulation and thermal bridges (areas where heat transfer is higher) can cause moisture to condense and lead to mould formation.
  • Living Habits: Poor ventilation, inadequate heating, and placing furniture too close to exterior walls can promote mould growth.


Preventing Mould Growth: How it Works

1. Proper Ventilation

In the UAE, where air conditioning is used extensively, maintaining proper ventilation is crucial. Regularly exchange indoor air by opening windows in the early morning or late evening when the outside air is cooler and less humid. Use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove excess moisture.

2. Maintain Adequate Room Temperature

Keeping your home cool can reduce humidity levels. Ensure your air conditioning units are serviced regularly to maintain efficient operation, and consider using a dehumidifier to help maintain an optimal humidity level.

3. Reduce Moisture Sources

Address any water damage promptly and use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels, keeping them below 60%. Avoid drying clothes indoors, and ensure areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms, are well-ventilated.

4. Adopt Healthy Living Habits

Air out your home after activities that increase humidity, such as cooking or showering. Avoid placing large pieces of furniture against cold exterior walls to ensure good air circulation.

5. Use a Dehumidifier

In the UAE’s humid climate, a dehumidifier can be a valuable tool in maintaining an ideal relative humidity level. Modern dehumidifiers come with hygrostats that automatically control the humidity level, ensuring your home remains dry and mould-free.


Recognising and Eliminating the Cause of Mould


Early Detection: Regular inspections of your home can help identify mould before it becomes a significant problem. Look for signs such as discoloration, musty smells, and damp spots.

Mould Removal: If you find mould, especially over a large area, seek professional help to remove it safely and effectively. Professionals can identify the mould type and recommend appropriate removal methods.

Mould in Rented Flats

If you discover mould in a rented flat, report it to your landlord immediately. Landlords are responsible for removing mould and fixing the underlying causes. If they fail to address the issue, you may need to consider legal action or, as a last resort, moving out to protect your health.


Preventing mould growth involves regular checks and preventive measures such as proper ventilation, maintaining adequate temperatures, reducing moisture sources, and using dehumidifiers. However, if mould is already present, professional intervention is necessary.

Want to know more about how a dehumidifier can improve your indoor climate? Check out our information page on air humidification.

For any questions related to indoor climate or to subscribe to our newsletter, please get in touch with us. Stay informed about current topics on indoor climate, experience reports, and insights from our team.


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