Mildew is quite a common complaint within the home, but many people choose to ignore it, thinking it’s just too difficult to remove, and that, if they do remove it, it will just return with a vengeance. What many homeowners fail to realise is that mildew can actually be quite dangerous in large quantities: it can bring on asthma attacks, it can cause sore eyes, it can lead to skin rashes, and it can even create aches and pains all over the body. It’s especially dangerous for young children to be around mildew, so removing it from your home should be a priority. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not at all hard to remove – you just need to know how.
What is Mildew?
- Mildew is quite similar to mould – like mould, mildew is made up of small fungal hyphae, some of which can be detrimental to our health.
- Mildew grows on natural materials such as in soils, on plant leaves, within wooden fibres, and even on leather – all it needs to thrive is a warm, damp environment. Unfortunately, some homes are ideal breeding grounds for mildew, especially those with poor ventilation or a bit of a damp problem.
- Bathrooms are especially susceptible, as they often become hot and steamy – and as mildew is very fast growing, spores can begin to form within 24 hours of excessive moisture in the air, making it tricky to manage.
Mildew: Do’s and Don’ts
Before you start looking into how to remove mildew from walls and other surfaces, it’s vital that you understand a little more about mildew and how it spreads. If you approach mildew with the wrong techniques or equipment, you could end up spreading it around the home, providing more opportunities for it to grow, and creating a greater risk of poor health. Here are some dos and don’ts for dealing with mildew:
- DO open the windows in your home. Most of the time, the humidity outside will be much less than the humidity inside, so the ventilation will draw some of the moisture out of your home. This also makes it far safer to use mildew removing cleaning products.
- DO remove any wet items from the affected area. This could include damp bath towels that have been hung to dry, a wet bath mat on the floor, or even your kids’ bath toys, which may be harbouring some old water. The idea is to remove anything that could encourage the mildew to grow.
- DON’T use a fan to dry out any damp areas. Fans can encourage the spread of mildew around the home. Instead, we want to be trying to isolate the mildew to make it easier to manage.
- DON’T attack the mildew without taking precautions. Mildew can contribute to a number of health concerns, so always wear gloves and a mask, open windows, and ensure children are kept well away – disturbing the mildew can cause it to spread further than you may think.
Determining how to remove mildew really depends upon the surface you’re dealing with. As discussed, mildew can grow on any natural surface, which includes clothing fabrics, brick walls, and wooden tables, for example. Here are some easy, effective ways to remove mildew from different types of surfaces:
How to Remove Mildew on Walls
Other than targeted mildew or mould removers, one of the most effective ways of removing mildew from walls is to use a mixture of water and chlorine bleach. Simply follow the instructions on the label to ensure you apply your chosen cleaning product safely and effectively, and see your mildew problem disappear!