Remove mold

remove mold

In this post you will about mold, how to remove mold, why it is important to remove mold and steps to take to prevent mold.  Left untreated, mold can become a health hazard.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that requires ongoing dampness or moisture to grow.  Mold usually occurs only in those areas that are constantly damp or moist, or where there is poor ventilation.  The key to preventing mold is to keep the inside of your home dry.  Mold spores travel through the air and land in wet areas where they can go about reproducing.

Why should you be concerned about damp mold?

If walls become stained with mold and are left untreated over time the mold will be difficult to remove and eventually may cause wood rot and structural damage.

If left untreated mold can also affect people’s health.

Some years ago, I helped my daughter moved out of a home which was built in 1893 in the state of Victoria, Australia.  There was the smell of mold in cupboards, and I could see mold on the bathroom walls.  Obvious signs of mold were easy to deal with.  However, it was not until moving day that my daughter discovered, a large patch of mold had formed on the underside of her latex mattress.  The mold on the mattress was treated immediately.  Mold can cause respiratory problems, allergies and other serious health problems if left unchecked. 

What can you do to prevent mold growth?

The key to preventing mold is to maintain a dry, warm home with good ventilation as dry surfaces do not promote mold growth.  Undertake the following checks on a regular basis, particularly in winter or humid conditions during summer:

  • Look up at ceilings and if you see blackish specks or a discoloration in the ceiling this may indicate a leak in the roof. If you climb into the roof cavity you may be able to find the source of the leak and take the appropriate action to have it fixed.
  • If condensation or dampness forms on the inside of windows or glass doors used a towel or cloth to remove the damp.
  • Are there any signs of black mold forming in grouting around the shower and bath in bathrooms? This is caused by continuous damp air during showering or bathing.
  • Is there a smell inside kitchen cupboards when opened? Include other cupboards in the house and garage. If there is damp in the cupboards you will smell mold which indicates mold is growing.  Check curtains and blinds for mold as they can brush up against damp windows.

How to remove mold

The following non-toxic solutions are suggested as I have found they are effective in removing mold.

Vinegar is reported to be effective in killing 82% of mold, so it is well worth trying first.

Option 1 – 5% White Vinegar

  • Take a small spray bottle and pour undiluted vinegar into the spray bottle
  • Spray on the affected area and leave. Do not rinse

There will be a strong vinegar smell initially, but this should dissipate after a few hours.

Option 2 – Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Mix 1-part water to 2 parts Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle
  • Spray on affected area and leave. Do not rinse.

Option 3 – Tea Tree Oil

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray on affected area and leave. Do not rinse.

There will be a strong smell of tea tree oil initially, but this should dissipate after a few hours. Leave windows and doors open to allow in fresh air.

Remember:  the key to preventing mold is to keep a warm, dry well-ventilated home.

DIY Tool Kit

DIY tool kit

Buying your first DIY tool kit can be an exciting experience, especially if you have a specific project in mind.

Here is a list of suggested tools to help you set up your own DIY tool kit.  Below the listed items you will find a brief explanation of what each tool can be used for.

If you are on a budget purchase the items as required for each task.

When I started doing my own DIY projects I started with some of the items in the tool kit suggested below as well as paint brushes, paint rollers and paint to give a flat at the back of my house a face lift before it was rented out.

As you will see from the photos below, many are showing years or wear.  Some have been with me for a very long time.



  • Safety Glasses/Goggles
  • Hammer – claw hammer
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Multi-Grips
  • Pliers – Combination/Vise-Grip
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tool Box
  • Cordless Drill
  • Carpenter’s Level
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Sharp Pencil and Sharpener
  • Hand Saw – general purpose/crosscut
  • Utility Knife
  • Ear Muffs or Ear Plugs
  • Clamps
  • Folding Work Bench  (if no suitable work area available)


Safety Glasses/Goggles

  • Safety glasses protect your eyes from any type of flying object, sawdust or other particles from hitting you in the eye.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, consider buying safety glasses that won’t make your prescription glasses fog up.
  • Check the safety glasses you purchase meet your country’s standards for eye protection.




There are a wide range of hammers on the market all suited to doing a specific type of job.

  • The most common all purpose hammer on the market is called a claw hammer.
  • V shape at one end of the steel head is used for pulling out nails
  • The round flat base at the head of the hammer is used to drive in nails.
  • Purchase a claw hammer that feels comfortable in your hand.


Screwdriver Set

screwdriver set

  • Purchase a screwdriver set for your DIY tool kit that includes different sized Phillips heads, flat/slotted head.
  • A screwdriver is used for inserting and removing screws into timber, steel and other materials.
  • Although not originally designed for  such a purpose a flat/slotted head screwdrivers are useful for removing paint tin lids.
  • When purchasing screws check the back of the pack to see that you have the correct size screwdriver at home.
  • Packets of screws usually state the type and size of screwdriver head required.

Multi Grips

multi grip pliers

  • Multi Grips are a very versatile tool and a must have in your DIY tool kit.
  • They are adjustable and can handle a multitude of jobs around your home and come in different sizes – small, medium and large.
  • Multi-grips have many different uses such as gripping onto pipes, nuts, removing the spindle from a tap.
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Tool Safety

tool safety first


When working with both hand tools and power tools I take tool safety seriously.

Why?  In the early days when I missed striking the nail with the hammer a few times and hit my thumb instead, or the hand saw blade slipped and nicked my hand, I very quickly learnt to concentrate.

When working with both hand and power tools always stay 100% focused on what you are doing as a lack of attention may cause a serious injury.

Tool Safety Tip #1

According to an online source 65% of eye injuries occur around the home?  This stat did surprise me indeed.

[Image source:]

Wear safety glasses or goggles when using both hand tools and power tools to protect your eyes from dust, debris, splinters from wood, glass and other objects.

Safety glasses should be worn even when using the lawnmower or whipper snipper/brush cutter outside the house.

Accidents can happen unexpectedly and quickly, so always protect your eyes when working with any type of tool

Tool Safety # 2

Items like jewellery, rings, long hair, sandals and loose clothing can easily get caught up in power tools.

remove jewellery, rings,To reduce the risk:

  • Remove jewellery and rings.
  • Ensure your clothes fit snug against your body to avoid any part getting caught in fast turning tools.
  • Wear closed in foot wear – boots, joggers with rubber soles. Footwear like loose sandals (flipflops, jandals, thongs, etc) can be a trip hazard or if a sharp object falls to the ground and hits your foot it may cause an injury.

tool safety first

  • Tie long hair tie it well back behind your head, out of the way of fast moving power tools. A hair net serves this purpose very well.

Tool Safety # 3

When using any type of power tool, wear ear muffs or ear plugs to protect your hearing from being affected from the noise.  Both types are effective in reducing the noise.

ear muffs or ear plugs

Tool Safety # 4

Protect your lungs and skin:

  • When sanding (hand or electric) use a dust mask to reduce the risk of breathing in dust particles.
  • When using toxic substances such as a paint stripper protect yourself from inhaling fumes by wearing a dust mask and the appropriate gloves to protect your skin.
  • Always use the most appropriate dust mask for the task at hand.

dust mask

Tool Safety # 5

Avoid the risk of electrocution when drilling holes in walls:

  • Use a scanning or sensor device to check for electrical wiring in walls and ceilings.
  • Scanners can also detect timber studs in walls.Scanners are also useful for finding water pipes within walls.

Tool Safety # 6

When replacing saw blades, router bits or drill bits always turn off the power to the tool being used.  As an added precaution remove the power tool’s plug from the wall.

remove power point

The reason for this is to reduce the risk of accidentally knocking the starter switch which in turn activates the blade or bit.  If the tool accidentally turns on, it may cause injury.

Tool Safety # 7

Check your home and work area is fitted with a safety switch or earth leakage breaker at the main meter box to the property.

safety switch, earth leakage breaker

The reason for this is that if a power tool (or electrical appliance) develops a short in its electrical wiring the safety switch is triggered at the main meter box which turns off  the power to the house immediately.     A safety switch therefore reduces the risk of anyone in the home receiving an electrical shock.

I have had both an electric drill and kettle develop electrical shorts, so having a safety switch is essential in every home.

If you are not sure whether your home is fitted with a safety switch, ask your local licensed electrician to check and install one.

Tool Safety # 8

Use one extension lead instead of multiple leads connected to multiple tools.

The reason for this is the more electrical cords lying on the floor the easier it is to trip over one of them.

If using just one extension lead, then you know which power tool is being used at any given time.  In an emergency it is much quicker to turn off one power point instead of multiple.

use one extension lead

Cordless Drill

cordless drill

A cordless drill is ideal to start with if you are new to DIY projects around your home, as they are light easy to use.

There are of course other types of drills on the market from electric hand drills, hand turn drills, stand-a-lone bench drills and floor-stand drills.

This post will provide information on cordless drills and their advantages and disadvantages.


What is a drill

  • A drill is a multi-purpose tool used to perform different tasks
  • They can be used for drilling holes in a variety of different materials such as wood, metal, plastic, tiles to inserting screws.
  • With the right accessories attached a drill can also be used to sand, buff, stir paint and strip paint and rust.


Parts of a drill

Drills are made up of different components, the purpose of each is discussed below.

cordless drill

Drill Handle

  • Is gripped whenever using the drill.
  • When the operator presses the start switch it activates the drill motor action.
  • When the start switch is released it stops the drill



  • Cordless drill motors range from 14.4 volts to 18-20 volts.


Variable Speed

  • A drill with a variable speed means the speed of the drill can be adjusted according to the task.
  • If drilling a hole in timber or metal the drill needs to work at high speed.
  • When inserting a screw, a slow speed is required to avoid stripping the screw head.


Forward and Reverse Switch

  • Move the switch to the “forward” position the drill bit turns clockwise and bores a hole into the material.
  • Move the switch to the “reverse” position the drill bit turns anti-clockwise and lifts the drill bit out of the hole.



The chuck is at the front end of drill where a drill bit is inserted and when tightened holds the drill bit in place.

Cordless drills do not require a special key to tighten and loosen a drill bit so are called “chuckless”

A drill’s chuck opening will come in one of two sizes – 3/8” or 1/2”. This is the maximum size a drill bit shaft will take when the chuck is fully open.


Hammer Switch

  • A hammer switch is usually located at the top of the drill.
  • Move the switch to hammer to drill holes into masonry or concrete using a special masonry drill bit.
  • When the “hammer” switch is activated the drill works with a hammering/vibration motion.
  • When the “hammer” switch is turned off the drill functions as a normal drill.


Rechargeable Battery

  • Cordless drill come with a rechargeable battery and recharging station.
  • Remove by pressing the switch at the back of the battery and slide out.
  • Insert into charging station to re-charge.
  • Recharging can take 1 – 2 hours depending on the brand and quality of the battery
Read More

How to Use a Drill

cordless drill bit

Tips for Using a Drill

The following steps will show you how to use a drill.

  • Use the correct size drill bit required for the screw or bolt being inserted.     TIP:  Drill a pilot hole first with a small bit.   This prevents a larger bit from moving when you start drilling.
  • Inserting a screw – choose a drill bit slightly smaller in circumference than the screw being inserted.  The reason for this is so the screw has material to grab as it is inserted.
  • Inserting a bolt – use a drill bit the same size as the bolt.
  • Hold the drill in your right hand if right-handed (left hand if left-handed)
  • With the left hand, open the Chuck enough so you can insert the round smooth end of the drill bit 1 inch (25mm) in between the chuck clamps.
  • Check the bit sits evenly between the clamps otherwise the bit will wobble when the drill is turned on.
  • Use the drill’s forward switch to tighten the drill bit into the chuck opening; reverse switch to loosen the drill bit in the chuck opening
  • Tighten the chuck by hand as far as you can so the drill bit sits inside the chuck without moving.
  • To finish tightening if you are using a:
  • Continue to hold the chuck while at the same time pressing the trigger switch until you feel the chuck go tight.
  • If the drill bit is not tight enough inside the chuck it will slip while drilling is in progress.
  • Repeat this step until it is tight.

Drill with a Chuck Key – after tightening the chuck as far you can by hand, take the chuck key insert it into the teeth at the side of the chuck and keep turning the chuck clockwise until you cannot turn it any further.

  • The bit should now be held tight inside the drill.Chuckless Drill – while keeping a firm grip around the chuck, press the forward switch on the drill.

How to Use a Drill

Once the drill bit is in place it is time to start drilling.

  • Check the variable speed is turned up (higher number) for general drilling.
  • Use clamps to fix your work material to a work bench or other surface to stop the material moving.
  • Working at waist level gives you better control over the tool being used.Use a small drill bit to provide a pilot hole, then move up in drill size to the desired finished size.
  • HOT TIP:  If a very fine edge is required on the surface use masking tape over the area being drilled as this help protect the edges of the finished hole size.
  • Hold the drill in a straight vertical line over the drill hole.
  • This is necessary to avoid the hole being drilled off-centre, or at an angle.Once the pilot hole is drilled, change your drill bit until the correct size bit is selected for the task at end.


Using a Drill to Insert a Screw

  • If using your drill to insert a screw adjust the variable speed control of the drill to a LOW SPEED.
  • The reason for this is to prevent the head of the screw or bolt from being stripped.
  • If stripped, you will have difficulty getting the screw in or out!