Mould, or phaphundi, is something that many of us suffer with in our bathrooms and kitchens (basically in any room that’s damp and has the ideal growing conditions for fungi), but it’s also something we don’t tend to do much about. Unfortunately, we’ve got to a point where black mould (the most common type) is almost considered to be normal, but this attitude could really start to affect our health. Regardless of what type of mould you have, it can trigger a number of health concerns, particularly amongst children, the elderly, and those with suppressed immune systems.
What is Mould?
Moulds are microscopic fungal organisms that come in a variety of forms. It sometimes grows indoors due to moisture and wet surfaces. If it doesn’t remain hidden (behind wallpaper, for instance), it can often appear as unsightly marks on walls, window frames and other susceptible surfaces.
How to Prevent Mould
On the surface, mould prevention seems impossible. If you’ve ever simply painted over your mould and seen it grow back through within days, you’ll know that it takes more than a splash of paint to reduce mould growth. Rather than trying to cover it up, what you need to do is get right down to the source, and stop mould growth before it starts. Here are some changes you can make to help prevent mould growth in your home:
- Don’t dry clothes in enclosed spaces. If you don’t have a washing line outside, it’s understandable that you’ll want to dry your clothes on a clothes horse inside, but when you do, always ensure you keep windows (and doors, if possible) wide open. Wet clothes add extra moisture to the environment, increasing the chances of mould developing. Keeping your home well-ventilated will reduce interior moisture and damp.
- If possible, use low level heating in your bathroom when you take a shower – a heated towel rail, heated mirror, or underfloor heating are ideal as they use low amounts of electricity and so are relatively environmentally friendly – certainly much more so than putting the central heating on. A small amount of heat can reduce condensation, helping to keep your walls and windows drier and less prone to mould.
- Try pulling your bathroom and bedroom furniture just a few centimetres away from the walls, rather than having them pushed up tightly. This allows air to circulate in these areas better, and can prevent a build-up of damp.
Black Mould Removal
While it’s important to know how to prevent mould growth, you also need to know how to get rid of mould already in your home. This is easy to do with a water and bleach solution: one part bleach, three parts water. Use a hard bristled brush to scrub away at the mould using the bleach solution, but be aware that this may eat away at the paint on your walls so be prepared to repaint once the area is dry. Always be careful when using bleach – read the directions on the label before cleaning mould from any surface, wear gloves and protective eyewear, keep the windows open, make sure children stay well away, and test the product in a small area first.
Now you know how to clean mould and remove it from walls, you can say goodbye to those unsightly black marks and use the mould prevention tips above to make sure it doesn’t return!