Mould is a type of fungi like mushrooms and yeast, growing in our built environment when conditions are right.

Exposure to mould and health effects

You could be exposed to mould if you:

  • Breath in mould particles that are disturbed or damaged
  • Breath in tiny spores that some moulds may release into the air
  • Touch mould and get it on your skin through exposed cuts
  • Eat mouldy or spoiled food.

Health effects of mould include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthma symptoms, hay fever, or other allergies
  • Coughs, congestion, runny nose, and disturbed breathing.

If you think that you or your family have symptoms related to mould exposure, you should firstly see a doctor.

Preventing mould

Removing water and sources of moisture is the key to prevention and can include:

  • Fixing leaks
  • Drying damp areas
  • Reducing or removing humidity in the air with a dehumidifier or allowing fresh air circulation.

Cleaning mould

Where parts of the built environment is affected by mould immediate remediation is advised to prevent further damage and risks of exposure.

  • Use soap and water to clean small areas of mould on walls or other hard surfaces as soon as you see it.
  • Wear safety glasses, a well-fitting P2/N95 face mask and long, waterproof gloves
  • If mould returns quickly or spreads after cleaning, an there may be underlying problems (e.g. water leak).

If large areas of mould are present, you may need a professional mould cleaning company to assist you.

Rental properties

Landlord and building managers must keep their buildings in good condition so that mould will not grow. This means repairing water leaks and correcting persistently high humidity levels.

If you have a lot of mould (more than one square metre) or it keeps coming back after you have cleaned it, contact your landlord about the problem.

More information and contacts

The Department of Health provides guidelines to assist in managing mould and dampness related risks based on existing literature and recommendations.

Visit Department of Health

For more information or advice please contact the Shire’s Health Services on 9290 6742 or email