On the weekend, I had to say goodbye to a pair of summer suede shoes, which were never worn and will never be worn again.
The culprit: mould.
Although I live in a modern apartment block and I have a clean home, my flat is part of a current mould outbreak and it’s a worry when I live with two asthmatics.
“There is a mould epidemic in Melbourne and Sydney,” The Mould Doctor Managing Director, John Liddell, told Mamamia.
"We've had a massive spike in enquires and in treatment and inspections we're doing."
Mr Liddell - who says he has seen "houses of horror" with black carpeted mould on walls and ceilings - helps people battle spores in properties across New South Wales and Victoria.
"In extreme cases, people can die from mould infestation - they're extreme. In non-extreme cases people can get pretty sick," said Mr Liddell.
"Those that are particularly vulnerable are asthmatics, little kids, anybody with an existing respiratory ailment and the elderly," he added.
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The mould expert says over-heated, poorly-ventilated properties become a breeding ground for mould - which thrives in environments with humidity at above 60 per cent.