While we yearn over elegant, expressive and engaging interiors, it’s easy sometimes to forget that they are nothing without ensuring their preservation, with mould one of the biggest threats for ruining the home you’ve lovingly invested in over the years.
Mould is a common scourge in many homes, and it can pose a variety of health risks if left untreated.
Not only can it cause respiratory problems and allergies, it can also lead to structural damage; and as for that duck egg designer wallpaper – forget it.
As with most things, when it comes to tackling this ghastly black, green or white pest, prevention is better than cure, and once you’ve treated the problem, there are various actions you can take to prevent the fungus from becoming a recurring unwanted guest.
Identify the source of the mould
Mould thrives in areas that attract excess moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. It can also emerge as the result of water leaks, floods, or high humidity levels.
Before you can tackle the mould, it’s essential to identify the source and address it. Fix any leaks or water damage, improve ventilation in damp areas, and invest in a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels.
Clean and disinfect affected areas
Once you’ve addressed the source, it’s time to channel your inner Mrs. Hinch and clean and disinfect the affected areas.
Use a solution of water and bleach (1 cup bleach to 4 litres of water) or a commercial mould cleaner to remove the mould from hard surfaces like walls, floors, and tiles. Be sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and a mask, and open windows for ventilation. Avoid using a vacuum cleaner, which can spread mould spores throughout your home.
After cleaning, it’s crucial to dry the affected areas thoroughly to prevent mould from returning. Use a fan or dehumidifier to dry out the room and ensure that all surfaces are completely dry before moving on to the next step.
Use mould-resistant paint
If you’re serious about preventing mould from recurring, you will want to paint the affected areas with mould-resistant paint. This contains anti-microbial properties that stop mould growth in its tracks and will save you a lot of hassle down the line. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and ventilation.
Let the air in
Adequate ventilation is essential for preventing mould growth, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens. If you have windows in these rooms, try to get into the habit of opening them after showering or cooking. Alternatively invest in extractor fans to remove the excess moisture.
You can also leave wardrobe doors open to improve air flow, or at very least avoid stuffing them with clothes, as these can trap moisture.
Keep surfaces dry
To prevent mould growth, it’s essential to keep surfaces dry. Wipe up spills and condensation promptly and avoid leaving wet towels or clothes lying around. Use a squeegee or towel to dry off bathroom surfaces after showering or bathing, which will also help prevent the build-up of limescale, another unwanted visitor!
Be on mould alert
If the mould in your home is superficial, the steps above ought top remedy the problem and prevent further outbreaks. However, if you do see signs the mould is returning, you may want to investigate further as you may have a structural vulnerability or mould on an exterior wall. In this scenario, it’s best to call in the professionals before the mould can do real damage to the fabric of your home.