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9 Tips To Control Mould Before It Controls You


9 Tips To Control Mould Before It Controls You

By EnviroVent Sep 07, 2015

Whether you’ve spotted a small patch of mildew in the bathroom or large chunks of mould on walls, getting rid of it should be your first priority.

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.

Mould is a fungus that breaks down dead material. It grows in our homes because they offer the ideal conditions for it to grow – namely moisture, warm air, and materials to feed on, such as wood, carpet and dust.

It will continue to develop until it’s cleaned and removed. However, dead spores can be just as harmful to our health, so it’s important that you take care when getting rid of it.

Removing Mould from Around Windows

Windows are prone to attracting mould as they are a magnet for moisture, they take a battering from rain on the outside and condense excess moisture on the inside. Properties, especially new-builds want to retain as much heat as possible but this often has the unfortunate knock-on affect of not allowing excess moisture to escape. 

If there is heavy condensation on windows water droplets will appear and weep down the window, sometims saturating the window sill. After a period of time of being excessively damp, mould will often appear around the window frame. 

You can remove the mould by using a mould removal spray, bleach or even a natural acidic product like vinegar. Scrub the affected area with a damp cloth until the mould has lifted then dry the area as best possible. Afterwards you will need to keep wiping down the area to stop it from becoming over damp again.

The best way of ensuring your window frames stay dry is by ensuring your home is well ventilated and the best ventilation solution is a whole house unit. 

Additional Mould Removal Tips  

  • Treat mould around windows by using a really stiff brush to reach into gaps and remove deep mould from the hard surface of the window and inner wall.
  • Get rid of mould on walls by using a paint roller since mouldy walls usually need less scrubbing, are flat, and the damp is often more spread out here.
  • Bathroom mould is much more likely to be on the ceiling, around windows or in the grout of your tiles, but don’t forget to check less obvious places like inside bathroom furniture.
  • Mould on carpet is a pain and often it’s too late to save the carpet. Machine or hand wash it in a bath because you’ll never get mould out of a carpet with a brush, or perhaps call in the professionals.
  • Cover moisture-prone surfaces with mould prevention paint, rather than normal paint.

 

How to Stop Black Mould

All kinds of mould can be harmful to health, however, black mould is famously the one to watch out for. Most black moulds are fairly common and often come from the same strain as green mould. They can be treated with normal treatment methods, and are not to be a cause of great concern. There is, however, a particularly difficult type of black mould known as ‘toxic black mould’ or ‘stachybotrys’, which can have much more serious implications on your health.

A simple solution for removing non-toxic mould from your home is to clean it using a non-toxic, mould cleaning solution. When the mould has been eradicated, it is important to dry the surface thoroughly, in order to prevent the mould from returning. Another simple yet short-term solution is to kill the mould and nasty marks on your walls with bleach.

If you do wish to try this tactic remember to wear thick clothes (you don't mind getting ruined), rubber gloves and a face guard as both the mould and bleach fumes can be dangerous to inhale. To clean mould off your walls, follow these steps -

  1. Have a plastic bag ready to take away any soft furnishings, clothes and soft toys that are mouldy.
  2. Simply mix one part bleach to four parts water.
  3. Using a damp cloth gently scrub until the mould is gone.Be careful not to brush it, as this can release mould spores.
  4. Once finished, dry the area well with a soft cloth or rag.
  5. Afterwards, put the rags in a plastic bag and throw them away.
  6. All the surfaces in the room should be thoroughly cleaned by either wet wiping or vacuuming to remove any spores. 

Remember however, this is not a long term solution and you really need to tackle the cause of the mould to ensure it doesn't come back.

Proper ventilation is the best way to combat these problems before they start. Prevention is the best cure. Installing a whole house ventilation solution will keep damp levels down and stop mould from ruining your home. We have a solution to suit any home, we also offer a free survey to properly inspect the air flow problems and offer advice to combat the issue and drastically improve the air quality of your home. 

Nine Mould Prevention Tips 

1. 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.

2. 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.

Windows are also a key area to keep an eye on if mould starts to grow around your windows you know you have a problem. The mould may appear on your window sills and around the window frames. To avoid mould growing around your windows keep your property well ventilated and check your window frames for any damage. 

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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. 

8. 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.

9. How to kill and clean the mould

If mould has affected your home you need to act fast, stop it from spreading and kill the mould and address the damp. First grab a bin bag and throw away anything that has been badly affected by the mould, if the mould has reached any soft furnishings you should get these professionally dry cleaned. Next mix a bucket of water with a mould removal product to make a solution you can clean your walls with.

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. 

After washing your walls down use a dry rag and try to soak up as much of the moisture as possible, a good tip is to try and leave your windows open so the room dries quickly and thoroughly. Finally hoover the room to ensure no moisture soaks into the floor. 

Ventilation is the Best Solution 

The best solution for condensation is proper ventilation, in order to vent condensation your home needs to have an adequate air flow and kept at a good temperature. When a room gets to a certain temperature, humidity gathers creating moisture in the air. If this excess moisture is not ventilated it will cause condensation. 

EnviroVent has a ventilation system for every kind of home, whether it be the smallest apartment, bungalow, house or a major building project. With a wide range of energy efficient and innovative ventilation systems, you can be assured that your indoor air quality will be dramatically improved, whilst having a positive effect on your health and your home. Our condensation control vents, are designed to minimise if not eliminate condensation.