Beyond Surface Level: Unveiling the Hidden Dangers of Mould Build-up 

Mould: it’s not just a bit of a damp patch on the wall, aye? It’s a word that can make any Kiwi commercial property owner feel a wee bit uneasy. We often reckon it’s just a musty smell and a few unsightly spots, but the dangers go way deeper than that. 

A type of fungus, mould loves high humidity levels, and it breeds through tiny spores. Some moulds are harmless, but many types are real troublemakers, causing health problems and making a mess of building materials. The sneaky thing about mould is that it can grow where we can’t see it. This makes it a silent threat but a potent one all the same. 

Effects of Mould Build-up 

Mould may seem as harmless, but most of the time, it can be extinguished by DIY cleaning or hiring a cleaning company. However, beneath the dark or grey growth lies the following dangers: 

Health Effects 

Mould spores, when inhaled, can trigger a range of health issues. Allergies, for example, are a common reaction, leading to sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes. And for individuals with asthma, mould exposure can exacerbate symptoms and trigger attacks. Chronic sinus infections are another frequent consequence of mould exposure.

And did you know that mould can also impact the nervous system? Headaches, difficulty concentrating, and mood swings have been linked to mould exposure. Research suggests that mycotoxins, toxic substances produced by certain moulds, can potentially contribute to more serious neurological conditions, especially in vulnerable individuals.

Vulnerable Populations 

Think about this report from WorkSafe: cancer and respiratory illnesses account for over 70% of work-related deaths in New Zealand. When it comes to respiratory issues at work, one of the most common causes is black mould as it affects indoor air. Continuous exposure to this can lead to symptoms such as asthma, nose bleeding, and allergies. (1) 

One group that can be susceptible to these issues are the elderly. They often have weakened immune systems and existing health conditions. And considering that New Zealand has about 24% of people aged about 65+ years still working, it presents a new challenge in protecting them against the effects of mould in commercial spaces. (2)

Even low levels of mould can trigger severe health risks and reactions in these individuals, underscoring the importance of prompt identification and remediation.

Structural Damage  

Wood rot is a common consequence of excess moisture and mould infestation. This can weaken the structural integrity of commercial buildings. As mould eats up wood fibres, it compromises the strength and stability of beams, joists, and other critical components. 

Mould also degrades a wide range of building materials, including drywall, insulation, and even concrete. This deterioration not only compromises the structural integrity of a building but also necessitates costly repairs. In severe cases, mould infestation can significantly decrease the value of a property, making it a financial burden for property owners and businesses.

Additionally, a recent survey shows that about 70% of workers want to return to the office three to five days a week as they prefer collaborating with their colleagues in person. To support this, their offices need to be conducive to such interactions, as well as their safety and well-being. One way to ensure this is that any threat of mould should be dealt with immediately and thoroughly, as the build-up could be dangerous. (3) 

Hidden Mould Growth 

One of the most concerning aspects of mould is its ability to flourish in hidden spaces. These areas often provide the ideal conditions for mould growth – darkness, moisture, and limited airflow.

For instance, moisture build-up or leaks can create a hidden breeding ground for mould above suspended ceilings, concealed by ceiling tiles. Mould can also spread through wall cavities if there are moisture intrusion or condensation issues.

Meanwhile, areas like restrooms, kitchens, or locations near leaky pipes can be particularly susceptible to mould growth under flooring materials, often unnoticed until problems arise. Condensation on ductwork, clogged condensate pans, or high humidity levels can also create ideal conditions for mould growth within the HVAC system itself.

Checking for telltale signs of hidden mould issues can’t be stressed enough so you can stop it in its tracks before it builds up further. Have you been observing musty odours lately? How about water stains? Are there some unexplained health symptoms such as runny nose? However, detecting mould in these hidden areas can be challenging. In that case, hiring mould experts is your best bet. (4) 

Prevention and Remediation 

Maintaining good air quality and safe working environment is possible without any mould in your commercial space. Moisture control is key; this means promptly addressing any leaks, strategically placing dehumidifiers in moisture-prone areas, and ensuring proper ventilation throughout the office space. Another effective way of preventing mould growth? Good ol’ regular cleaning, especially in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, can do the trick.

In cases of extensive mould growth or when hidden mould is suspected, professional mould remediation is essential. Experts involved in this field have the knowledge, experience, and specialised equipment, which means they can safely and effectively clean mould.


The dangers of mould infestation extend far beyond the surface. But you can certainly do something about it. Implement the correct measures and you can prevent and obliterate it. Thus, you get to ensure your commercial space is fully protected from the silent enemy. Not just that. You get to uphold the health of its occupants, too! Hitting two birds with one stone, eh?

Unsure of how to deal with mould in your building? Don’t hesitate to call remediation services for a safe and thorough process.  


  1. “New Zealand Carcinogens Survey 2021”, Source:  
  2. “More people are working longer, while navigating a changing landscape impacted by technology and the gig economy of casual, short term jobs and self-employment”, Source:,still%20be%20working  
  3. “Auckland prime office vacancy rates at historic lows”, Source:  
  4. “Mould at work”, Source:,up%20the%20mould