With all the recent rain, the cooler months and predicted wet weather, mould and moisture is a common problem in many homes around the Gold Coast. In this blog post, we share tips to minimise mould in the house.
What is mould?
Moulds are microorganisms. They are found everywhere. They commonly grow in areas that can become damp such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. They can grow on almost anything if it is moist enough and provides food for mould to grow such as home walls, floors, appliances, carpet, or furniture.
Is mould harmful to us?
Mould produces tiny particles called spores. Spores are carried in the air and may cause health problems if inhaled by people who are sensitive or allergic to them. These bits of mould can cause infections, allergies, asthma and other breathing problems. To avoid these health problems, keep your home as mould-free as possible.
It is important to note that most people will not experience any health problems from coming into contact with mould.
Tips to minimise mould in your home
It’s impossible to get rid of all mould so the key is preventing new growth by reducing dampness in the home. Below are some tips for minimising mould in the home:
- Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates, to reduce moisture in the air.
- Keep indoor humidity below 60% if possible.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean. Make sure drain lines are free of obstructions and flow properly.
- Keep the house warm in cool weather. As the temperature goes down, the air is less able to hold moisture, and it condenses on cold surfaces, which can encourage mould growth.
- Add insulation to cold surfaces, such as exterior walls, floors, and windows, to reduce condensation.
- Dry wet areas within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mould growth.
- Fix leaks and seepage. The ground should slope away from your house. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing.
- Check your heating and cooling system to make sure it’s sized and operating properly to remove humidity. Also, check your duct system for air leaks and proper size and airflow to each room.
- Open doors between rooms to increase circulation. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners.
- Make sure gutters are working correctly and that outdoor landscaping causes water to run away from — not toward — the house.
- Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
- Make sure the vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
- Open a window when showering.
How can I remove mould from my home?
It is good to remove mould as soon as it appears. This may take some effort. Remember that mould is likely to return unless you also take steps to treat the cause of the problem. Here are some tips for removing stubborn mould in your home:
- Clean mouldy surfaces using mild detergent or vinegar diluted in water solution (4 parts vinegar to 1 part water).
- If the mould is not readily removed and the item cannot be discarded, use diluted bleach solution (250mls of bleach in 4 litres of water) to clean the surface. When using bleach, protective equipment is recommended such as rubber gloves, safety glasses, and safety shoes. Make sure the area is well-ventilated while you are cleaning with bleach.
- Ensure the surface is dried completely once cleaned.
- Absorbent materials, such as carpet may need to be professionally cleaned or replaced if they are contaminated with mould.
Use these tips to prevent mould from starting in and around your home. For more cleaning and gardening tips, check out our other blog posts.