Can you afford to ignore mold in your cellar?

Cellars provide the perfect conditions – high humidity and cool temperatures – for mold and fungus to form. It damages or destroys whatever substances it grows on. You may notice the characteristic smell of mold first, and it is this odour that can affect beer quality (particularly cask beers). But mold can also affect health.

Most mold/fungal spores are not known to be toxic but there is a link to allergenic effects. Today, about 50% of people react to allergens.

While there is disagreement, most scientists agree that spending time in damp/moist environments can contribute to such respiratory illnesses as allergy, asthma, cough, runny nose, and sinus conditions. While you are unlikely to spend much time in the cellar, it is still a subject to bear in mind.

Resolving the problem of mold begins with determining the source(s) of excess moisture. Once identified, remove mold that may already be in place, then keep the area dry afterwards to minimize the potential for further growth of mold. Cellar humidity should be maintained below 60%.

Where it is not possible to reduce humidity in cellars with ventilation, it is increasingly more important to inhibit mold growth through the application of specialised anti-fungal primer and paint.

Removing Mold

Consider hiring a professional firm to remove large areas of mold. If doing it ‘in-house’ always ensure you take proper safety precautions by wearing personal protective equipment: respiratory mask, goggles, gloves and protective clothing.

For guidance on how to prepare a surface and apply an anti-fungal treatment, download the attached guidelines.

Sources

[1] Department of Agrobiotechnology, IFA-Tulln
[2] National Capital Poison Center, USA
[3] Thonhauser GMBH