9 tips to control mould before it controls you

9 tips to control mould before it controls you07/09/2015

9 tips to control mould before it controls you

By EnviroVent

Although you may not want to admit it, winter is just around the corner. That means dark nights and damp, cold weather. We no longer leave windows open as the temperature drops, the quality of the air in your home suffers, and mould creeps in.

Without a continuous flow of fresh air into and out of your home the relative humidity rises, and the internal atmosphere quickly becomes full of moisture. Eventually leading to condensation, especially with fluctuations in temperature which occur during winter. After a period of this cycle continuing, the water droplets that form on colder surfaces can lead to mould growth and, in some cases, damage to the building fabric itself.

Proper ventilation is the best way to combat these problems before they start. Prevention is the best cure, and September is the perfect time of year to have your ventilation fitted while it’s still warm.

But failing that, here are some tips for improving the quality of air in your home and helping combat mould now:

Dry clothes outside

Condensation is one of the biggest cause of mould problems in the home. Mould is a kind of fungus that develops from airborne spores. It prefers to grow in warm, damp conditions where there isn’t much airflow and because of that bathrooms and kitchens often suffer the worst from condensation and mould.

Drying washing on a radiator indoors creates condensation and also prevents your heating system from working efficiently. It is also a reason why condensation and mould growth is accelerated during the winter months, from one load of washing, over 2 litres of moisture is released into the air! If drying your washing outside isn’t possible, dry in a room where it is possible to open a window to provide ventilation and remove the moisture from inside to outside.

Similarly, if you are using a washing machine or tumble dryer, ensure that it is vented correctly.

Open a window and shut the door

After a shower, bath, boiling a kettle or cooking the humidity levels in your bathroom/kitchen sky rocket. If you don’t already have an extractor fan or some form of ventilation fitted this humidity can turn into condensation and effect the whole house. Closing the door during using the bathroom or kitchen contains the moisture produced, and opening a window after will allow any excess moisture to disperse naturally without effecting the temperature of the air in the rest of the house and preventing condensation from settling on walls, ceilings and windows in your bathroom or kitchen, which can lead to mould problems.  This will help reduce the amount of condensation that appears but it won’t eliminate the problem.

Control smoky atmospheres

Ban smoking indoors. Apart from all the serious side effects smoking causes, smoking drastically reduces the quality of the air in your home. This should be an all year round ban, not just in the winter. If your home has a fire or wood burning stove extra care should be taken to clean and maintain on a regular basis to remove harmful soot and dust, and prevent soot and smoke from contaminating the air if they are not given proper ventilation. Even burning candles can release smoke into the air you breathe.

Care for your Pets

Bath your Pets and wash their bedding regularly during winter. Pets also tend to spend more time indoors during winter months increasing the amount of pet dander and fur left indoors which can trigger allergic reactions. Restricting their access to downstairs rooms or only certain rooms in the house can also help reduce contamination.

Detox your home

Did you know that your home’s indoor environment could be significantly more polluted and harmful than outdoors? Chemicals from household cleaners, hairsprays, spray-on deodorants, ‘air-fresheners’, and other chemicals leaves harmful particles in the air effecting the quality of air. Make the most of any opportunity to open your windows a crack and clear the air.

Don't overstuff

Do not overfill bedroom wardrobes and kitchen cupboards. Overfilled cupboards are a breeding ground for mould as it prevents the air from circulate freely inside.

For the same reasons, make sure that any furniture is at least 50mm away from the surrounding walls so that air can move around the property. Also try to put wardrobes against internal walls in bedrooms; this will be less cold than external walls.

Get rid of dust mites

Household dust mites and their debris flourish in damp, mouldy conditions. Living in bedding, carpets and other soft furnishings, dust mites thrive in homes that don’t have adequate ventilation and where relative humidity is high.  Did you know if you have had your pillow or duvet for over 2 years 10% of their weight is made up of dust mites, dead mites and their droppings. When this detritus comes into contact with skin or is inhaled, it can cause allergic reactions, resulting in asthma attacks, eczema, watering eyes, itching, sneezing and a runny nose. 

Reducing humidity levels considerable reduces the mites’ ability to thrive. Bedding, cushions and carpets should be frequently cleaned or hoovered, and mattresses flipped to help remove mites and their debris as well as dead skin cells and hair that provide them sustenance. 

Regularly clean carpets

If you don’t have hard wood floors dust mites, dirt, hair and fungus can be living in your carpets. All of these can potentially aggravate breathing conditions such as asthma and bronchial attacks, as well as hay fever and eczema, and cause bad smells and a drop in the air quality in your home. 

If you have a carpet in the bathroom or kitchen that regularly becomes wet from bathing and cooking, it’s worth considering changing to a covering such as tiles or laminate, to eliminate the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, mould, fungi and other nasties. If you do want to stick with carpet, then it’s important to make sure it is thoroughly cleaned regularly, and that you keep the space well ventilated to keep relative humidity down.

Use a mould removal product

There a lots of different mould removal products on the market, EnviroVent have been working with microbiologists to create a specialist mould and mildew remover spray called Mould Guard Plus which is a mould removal treatment that is highly effective at preventing future mould growth.

Designed by microbiologists, Mould Guard Plus kills microbes within minutes of contact by permeating into the walls of a property, preventing mould problems from returning for up to 90 days. This gives sufficient time to provide a permanent solution to mould issues through effective ventilation.

Formulated from a unique combination of proven biocides and antimicrobial technology, the product is completely safe to use. It therefore requires no protective clothing and has minimal handling issues. It is environmentally friendly, odourless and fully biodegradable to EU standards. 

Comments (10)

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Brooke Joseph Wed, 4th November 2015
I really appreciate so many ideas of how I can keep mold out of my house and what types of things attract it.

June Robinson Tue, 8th December 2015
I really appreciate this information on how to control mold. I had a friend that just had to go through a lot to get the mold out of her home, so I will definitely be using these tips so the same thing doesn't happen to me. It is interesting that you mention the importance of controling smoky atmospheres. I didn't know smoke could cause mold, but I will remember that now.

Katie Sun, 10th January 2016
Some great advice and info, thanks!

Gary Blauman Sat, 16th January 2016
One of my friends just found out that they have a big problem with mould in their home and I want to make sure that this doesn't become an issue if I can. I like what you said about having good ventilation and I think that your tip about keeping windows open seems like it could really work. I will definitely keep this in mind so that I don't have any problems with mould in the future. Thank you for the tips.

Malcolm Boulder Mon, 18th January 2016
Very helpful tips. Thanks for sharing.

McCall Hazelson Thu, 11th February 2016
Mold can be really bad for your health, but there are ways to get rid of it. I really like what you said about drying your clothes outside.

Katie Anderson Tue, 15th March 2016
Making sure you are doing as much as you can to prevent mould can make a huge impact on your health. Mould can be dangerous, and it needs to be fixed right away so you don't end up getting sick from what it is doing to the air. It looks gross too, you would never want a guest to walk into your bathroom to see mould has taken over the home. Thank for sharing!

Kyler Brown Tue, 17th May 2016
My wife and I are in the process of doing mould removal from our home right now. I really appreciated some of these tips. I definitely can see why it is important to not overstuff, so this is great advice to follow! Thanks for sharing.

Faylinn Thu, 19th May 2016
I just had a whole bunch of mould removed from my basement and so I am really dedicated to making sure that I control it better in the future. However, I hadn't realized that it could be necessary to detox my home to relieve it from the harmful chemicals that are in there. However, how does hairspray contribute to mould?

Justin Knox Wed, 10th August 2016
Thank you for the help. I recently found a small area of mold that in my house that needs to be removed. I think my home may need to be detoxed. Do you offer a mold remediation service?