Mould in the home is a big problem. Not only is it gross and unsightly, but it's also very bad for your health.
With mould becoming a bigger problem by the day, there are ways to eradicate it and help prevent it from ever returning.
Why mould is bad news
While it may look contained to one area, mould actually grows as millions of tiny loose spores. When interrupted, they break free and float through the air. This makes it easy for them to be inhaled as you go about the home.
The spores contain allergens that can wreak havoc with your health. Children, the elderly or those with underlying health problems are particularly vulnerable.
While many symptoms are quite mild, such as a runny nose, others are much more serious. Mould has been known to cause severe respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
Getting rid of mould
Perhaps the only good news when it comes to mould is that it's quite easy to clean. The best and most effective ways of cleaning mould are the natural ones:
- Vinegar solution: four parts vinegar to one part water
- Tea Tree oil
- Rubbing alcohol
The process of cleaning is the same no matter which solution you choose. Use a damp cloth and liberally coat it with the cleaning agent. Scrub at the mould until it's removed, rinsing regularly.
While the above will do a good job of cleaning mould, it's just as important for you to know what not to use. The following products are completely ineffective against mould:
- Hydrogen Peroxide
They give the appearance of cleaning mould but in reality they do nothing more than bleach the colour out. The surface may be light and bright, but the mould still exists, albeit invisible, and will grow back before too long.
How to prevent mould
Now for a little bad news. Mould is a resilient little fungi and will grow back in time if you don't take appropriate measures. To keep mould at bay be diligent with the following:
1. Act quickly
If you see any trace of mould developing then it's important to act fast and clean it immediately. Keep some vinegar solution in a spray bottle for this very purpose. Doing this will prevent a mould infestation.
2. Keep moisture to a minimum
Moisture is the easiest to control and keeping things dry will have the best impact. Keep a good flow of air in your home by regularly opening doors and windows. Use a fan to blow more air around if necessary. Dry any damp areas ASAP and consider a dehumidifier if you live in an area with high humidity.
3. Let the sunshine in
Mould hates sunlight. Keep your home light and bright with as much sunlight as possible. While this won't be possible for everyone, doing as much as you can will pay dividends in your fight against mould.
4. Replace fixtures
In serious cases you may need to consider an extraction. For example, if one wall of the home is covered in mould and it keeps growing back, consider having that part of the wall removed and replaced. Not doing so could result in the problem spreading and, in extreme cases, an entire premises being demolished.
Michael Brooke has been cleaning houses and carpets for over 15 years through his company CarpetCleaningSydney.com.au. In that time he has helped hundreds of customers with their own mould problems