How to Get Rid of Mould in your Home
Unfortunately, with the colder weather and gas and electricity bills rising, mould is becoming more common in homes.
Not only does black mould look unsightly, but it can cause a range of long-term respiratory issues too. There have been news stories about the damaging effects of mould allergens on health, with black mould potentially being life-threatening if not dealt with.
It can also be a sign you have structural issues. Depending on the cause, you may be experiencing mould in different areas of your home and may require a different approach to tackling the issue.
Thankfully, hiring a dehumidifier can usually lessen the issue by getting rid of excess moisture in the air. But you will also need to carry out some cleaning and look into any structural problems.
Never attempt to remove mould without wearing personal protective equipment. You will need:
- Eye protection
You will also want to cover any surfaces, such as furniture and carpet, which could be damaged by bleach or other cleaning product splashes.
Speedy’s guide below will walk you through everything you need to know about mould, from why it appears to how to tackle it.
Why does mould grow?
Mould appears because of a build-up of excessive moisture, which isn’t removed.
This can be caused by steam from cooking or showering, humidity from drying clothes indoors, or a lack of airflow (such as furniture being against a wall or not opening your windows regularly).
Excessive moisture can also be caused by issues with the foundations of your home, such as poor insulation or leaking guttering.
Mould spores will drop in damp conditions and then grow further. Whereas we have probably all seen a little bit of mould around our bathroom sealant, mould growing on walls and carpets is less common and needs to be treated very seriously.
Why is mould more common in winter?
Mould occurs year-round, but it can be more common in the colder months.
As well as the causes mentioned above, when outside surfaces such as walls and windows are cold and our homes are warm, condensation can form. This leads to excess moisture in the atmosphere, and the condensation can form mould if left to settle on surfaces.
But similarly, not using heating in the home to save money can cause mould too. This is because there’s no heat to help dry damp surfaces, causing mould to thrive.
If you’re concerned about the cost of central heating, hiring an electric portable heater could help.
Poor ventilation is also more common in winter, as we have our windows open less often.
You shouldn’t have to change habits to prevent getting a mouldy home, but you can try to keep on top of reducing condensation and mould to reduce the likelihood of issues.
How do I get rid of mould in my home?
This depends on where the mould is growing, and why. You may only be able to achieve a temporary fix if it is a reoccurring issue; professional help could be required to avoid damage to your home.
- How to get rid of mould on walls
This can often be the most serious problem, as there could be structural or pipework issues. It can also be the hardest to get rid of, as walls aren’t traditionally wipeable surfaces.
However, if your brickwork and pipework all seem in good condition, there’s a good chance that the mould is forming because of internal issues.
The key to preventing mould on walls is to keep air moisture at a minimum. Electric dehumidifiers are key to reducing high humidity levels to a suitable level. You also need to wipe away any moisture which forms on surfaces as soon as possible and keep windows open when cooking and showering.
To clean mould growth on walls, wash them. One part bleach to three parts water is effective, but you can also buy mould sprays. Repeat this process, and ensure walls are dry before moving any furniture back or using the room again.
Always wear gloves when handling any bleach or chemical-based cleaners
If you need to repaint, wait a few weeks to ensure the mould is definitely gone so you know you aren’t just painting over the problem. You can pay a bit extra for kitchen paint which is mould and moisture resistant, and scrub-able.
Hire a paint sprayer to ensure you’re painting thin layers of paint, which will help with breathability too. Choose paint over wallpaper, for added breathability.
Long-term, only place furniture on internal walls, and regularly check for mould to keep on top of it.
- How to get rid of mould in the bathroom
Mould can occur in several places in your bathroom. The most common is around the sealant of your bath or shower, which is usually because you don’t wipe away the water after use. Get rid of mould by wearing gloves, applying neat bleach direct to the sealant and covering it with scrunched-up kitchen paper. Leave overnight, and it should be gone in the morning.
Wipe down with bathroom cleaner, and then remember to dry your shower or bath after every use.
If you have mould on your extractor fan, it may be a sign that the excess moisture is working its way to the fan but not being removed efficiently. Look into replacing it and remember to clean your fan regularly.
If your walls are mouldy, as above you will want to look into a specialist paint which is made for high moisture areas and can be cleaned. Keep windows open when showering too, to allow fresh air to circulate.
- How to get rid of mould around windows
Our guide to reducing condensation mentions that mould can form on window seals and sills if condensation is left to drip away throughout the day, as opposed to being removed.
Again, a mix of three parts water and one-part neat bleach can help remove mould from around window sealant and on windowsills; just check you won’t damage the paintwork and then fully dry afterwards.
Keeping windows open a bit every day to improve ventilation is key. This should reduce the humidity in your room and help with condensation on windows.
- How to get rid of mould on carpets
It is rarer, but it can happen. Mould on carpets usually forms after there’s been a leak (from something like a radiator) or there’s been a large spill which hasn’t dried properly. It could also be a sign you have an issue with pipework under your flooring.
You need to try and dry the carpet thoroughly; hire a carpet dryer to do this safely. Again, open windows for more airflow. It is also worth mentioning you need to fix the cause of the leak, too.
If the mould has stained your carpet, hire a carpet cleaner (but again, ensure it is fully dried afterwards). A steam cleaner can also help sanitise the carpet, which could be particularly crucial if you have children and pets.
If your carpet is damp post-flooding, unfortunately, you’d probably be best replacing it all as the underlay and floorboards could also be damaged. Your insurance can help with this.
What do I do if mould comes back?
Bleach can remove the appearance of mould but won’t remove the mycelium in the foundations (which is what mould grows from). So, if the issue is particularly bad, and mould reappears on walls soon after you wipe it away, you will need to get professional help.
It is also worth using a dehumidifier year-round, to fully tackle the issue of excess moisture in the air.
If you rent your property, it is your responsibility to ventilate and heat your home to prevent damp, but your landlord’s responsibility to organise an inspection and carry out repairs. See shelter.org.uk for advice.
IS THERE DEHUMIDIFIER HIRE NEAR ME?
Yes. Speedy Services, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of dehumidifiers for hire nationwide. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. Emergency dehumidifier hire has never been easier
Our dehumidifiers are trade standard, so will be able to tackle emergencies and serious issues.
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