Mould and damp aren’t just unsightly: they can also be harmful to your health. Breathing in mould spores isn’t good for anybody, and some people react more severely than others – mould allergies are not uncommon, and a small number of people may even develop severe mould-induced respiratory conditions.
Your house will be more susceptible to damp (and therefore mould) if you live in a particularly humid climate, or near a water source like a river or marshland. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to remove mould, and also easy to keep it from coming back.
You’re going to need the following:
Diluted bleach solution or specialised mould remover (be careful to keep it away from your eyes, naturally). Either will do – just follow the instructions on each product label, paying particular attention to any safety instructions. You should be diluting your bleach with about an equal amount of water.
A facemask (to avoid breathing in either bleach fumes or mould spores).
In extreme conditions – if your carpets are mouldy, or you’re out to get rid of mould on walls after it has already started to destroy the paintwork – you might also need the following:
Most mould removal products are very powerful, so it’s essential that you open a window while you get rid of damp and mould on your walls. Ventilation will also help to alleviate the smell of damp and dry up problem areas.
How To Get Rid of Damp & Mould on Walls
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First, find the source of the infestation. Normally, damp and mould are caused by condensation and poor ventilation. If that’s the case, you might want to purchase a dehumidifier, or open your windows more often to air the affected area. However, damp can also be caused by leaking water mains, rain seeping in through cracks in the walls and ceilings, or even by flooding. Pinpoint the source, and neutralise it.
Next, find the areas of the wall that have been affected. Using a clean washcloth, wipe off the mould with your diluted bleach solution or mould remover – a bleach-based detergent such as Domestos Bleach Spray is ideal. Follow the directions on the label, and test the product in a small area first. Remember to wear your facemask!
If the mould or the removal process has damaged your paintwork, don’t just paint over it. Use special fungicidal paint, which you can buy at your local hardware store.
Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
How to Get Rid of Damp & Mould on Carpets
Carpets are a little trickier, but you can start from the same basic principles. These steps will also work on any fabric-based furniture – just be sure to spot test a tiny, unnoticeable area first to ensure the safety of the fabric. You can read more about how to remove mould from carpets on Cleanipedia.
Find the source of the damp, and eliminate it if possible (more on this below).
Spray the affected area with your chosen mould removal product.
Scrape off the worst of the mould.
Wash the affected area with carpet shampoo – taking care to make sure all the mould has been picked up.
How to Make Sure Mould Doesn’t Come Back
Now that you know how to get rid of damp, mould, and related problems, you can start taking precautions to avoid a repeat infestation.
Make sure your house is properly ventilated.
Work out where the major sources of condensation are, and work to minimise them. The kitchen and bathroom are usually the worst offenders: it’s worth installing extractor fans in them to reduce the chances of damp hanging around.
If you have rising damp, get someone in to look at your damp-course. If you don’t have a damp-course, get one installed as soon as possible.
Locate any leaky pipes, walls, or roof spots, and seal them up.
Make sure your guttering is cleared at all times – overflowing gutters are a primary cause of leaks, especially where the overflow can find its way into windows and doorways.
Mould can affect your home in a number of different ways, so if you need more advice or information about tackling mould in the home, you can click here for more advice on removing mould, or here for tips on getting rid of water stains. Your home should be fresh, dry, and mould-free in no time.
For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.