Here at Fresh Design Blog, we’re not afraid to take a look at the less desirable side of home interiors – and household mould can be a real pain.
Mould can be a particular problem in winter, as we’re leaving windows open less so there’s less natural ventilation. Cold weather outside and heated interior rooms can mean a condensation build up on windows – and mould does love a damp environment. The trouble is that once mould finds a foothold in your home, then it can be very difficult to remove the spores and prevent a further build up. You definitely need to persevere, though – not only does it look horrible, it’s also not good to breathe in mould spores, particularly if you suffer from a breathing problem such as asthma. Untreated mould can spread very quickly in the winter, and the bigger the area the bigger the problem. We take a look at the different cleaning and elimination methods available.
A new patch of mould can sometimes be the consequence of a problem such as rising damp, a leaking pipe or gaps around windows. If you’re not sure what’s causing your mould, then speak to an expert first. A lot of the mould that appears in winter, though, is caused by poor ventilation – bathrooms are particularly at risk from the constant use of hot water and steam. If you don’t already have one, look into having an extractor fan fitted in the bathroom which will help with keeping steam to a minimum. The other option is to open the window after every shower, and leave it open for half an hour or so – shut the bathroom door to keep the heat in the rest of the house.
The best method to remove mould will vary a little depending on the type of surface you’re removing it from. It usually builds up on walls and causes staining, so after removal and thorough drying you will probably need to repaint the wall using a paint with an added mould inhibitor.
Before tackling any patch of mould, put on some rubber gloves and a face mask (yes, sorry, we’re advising wearing them in the house now!) to help stop you breathing in spores. Then, spray the affected area with one of the following:
- A commercial mould remover (available in the cleaning products aisle of most supermarkets) – follow the instructions on the bottle
- A spray made up of one part bleach to four parts water (this is fine for walls which are going to be repainted, but don’t get it on the carpet or soft furnishings)
- White distilled vinegar, used neat. This is safe on most surfaces but don’t let it get into contact with natural stone. Leave to sit for one hour before cleaning.
Then, scrub the area with a scrubbing brush and wipe any residue off with a damp cloth. You may need to use an electric heater or even a hairdryer to dry the area out thoroughly.
Mould can be difficult to shift once it’s decided to move into your home, so you may have to repeat the treatment several times before you get on top of it. Keep areas as well ventilated as you can – mould loves damp, so keeping areas clean and dry will really discourage it.1