Remove Mould

remove mold

In this post you will learn what mould is, how to remove it, why it is important to remove mould spores and steps to take to prevent mould. If left untreated mould can become a health hazard.

What is Mould?

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

Why should you be concerned about damp mould?

If walls become stained with mould and are left untreated over time the mould will be difficult to remove and eventually may cause wood to go rotten.  If left untreated mould can also affect people’s health.

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

What can you do to prevent mould growth?

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

  • Check Ceilings

If you see blackish specks 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.

  • Windows and Doors

If condensation or dampness forms on the inside of windows or glass doors use a towel or cloth to remove the damp.

  • Bathroom

Check for signs of black mould forming in grout around the shower and bath in bathrooms.  This is caused by continuous damp air.  This is more likely in homes with no extractor fan in the bathroom.

  • Kitchen cupboards

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 mould which indicates mould spores are growing.

  • Curtains

Check the back of curtains and blinds for mould.  This can occur if they brush up against damp. windows.

How to remove mould

The following non-toxic solutions are suggested as I have found they are effective in removing mould.
Vinegar is reported to be effective in killing 82% of mould, 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 mould is to keep a warm, dry well-ventilated home.