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Mould In The Home - What You Need To Know

Mould is a very common problem in the home. It can be harmful to your health, so you should certainly get rid of it when you become aware of it. Some people may be more sensitive to mould than others, especially more harmful varieties like black mould.

Mould comes in many varieties, including both white and black mould. Outside, its purpose is to break down organic matter, but inside it can be harmful both to your health and your property.

Mould is a living organism; it needs the right combination of water, temperature and food to grow. Mould only grows in damp places and if you have mould in your home it is likely that you have high humidity, ineffective ventilation or a damp problem. Controlling the moisture level is essential for preventing mould from growing.

Not all mould is harmful, but some types like black mould can be more harmful than others. In general, if you have mould in your home you will want to get rid of it as soon as possible to prevent possible health problems.

Mould releases spores into the air, and these can cause allergic reactions and even asthma attacks in sufferers. Mould can cause irritation even in people who are not allergic to the spores, including respiratory problems and coughing. It can also suppress the immune system and increase the chance of picking up other illnesses.

Before starting to remove the mould it is necessary to identify and address how the mould is getting water, otherwise it will grow back quickly.

Once you have fixed the moisture issue it's time to remove the mould. If you are doing this yourself, ensure to wear protective goggles, a face mask and gloves.

When you have killed or removed the mould, make sure the area is dried thoroughly. You may want to increase the amount of ventilation by opening windows or using a dehumidifier.

A spray solution made from detergent and water can be used on non-porous surfaces such as tiles and glass. Although it does not kill mould, it can be effective in removing it.

Bleach can be used to kill mould, and it is especially effective on non-porous surfaces. Make sure there is good ventilation in the room where you are using the bleach.

White vinegar is a more natural alternative to chemicals. It can be used pure or diluted depending on the amount of mould, and you can also use it on any surface.

Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and can be very effective for removing mould in the home and preventing regrowth. Dilute with water and spray onto the affected area.

Another non-toxic solution, hydrogen peroxide can be used on most surfaces. Use a 3% solution and simply spray on the affected area, leave for around 20 minutes then wipe away.

Ammonia is only suitable for non-porous surfaces like glass or tile. It can be very effective for killing mould, but is toxic so needs to be used with care.

There is no point getting rid of mould unless you focus on preventing it from reoccurring.

To Do this:

  • Ensure good ventilation throughout the home by opening windows and using extractor fans, especially in the bathroom and kitchen
  • Use a dehumidifier to ensure the humidity level is kept low
  • Dry any water damage thoroughly as soon as it appears
  • Clean rooms regularly, especially the bathroom
  • Fix damp problems as soon as possible
  • Replace any damaged tiles or mouldy grouting
  • Install hygienic wall panels in moist areas like bathrooms to prevent mould from growing.

Prevention is always the best cure, so make sure you do everything you can to avoid the growth of mould in the first place by fixing damp problems and ensuring good ventilation.

In areas especially prone to mould growth such as bathrooms, modern PVC wall panels can be used to address the issue. Mould resistant and completely non-porous, they are hygienic and easy to clean. Using wall panels means that no grouting is required as it is with tiling, which is usually an area highly susceptible to mould growth.

If you do discover a mould problem, act quickly to fix it as soon as possible to avoid any potential health problems and damage to your property.

IPSLuk.co.uk