How To Get Rid of Mould and Mildew: Everything You Need To Know
This guide will tell you how to identify mould, how to remove it, how to repair any stains left behind, and how best to maintain and care for the finished product.
What Are Mould and Mildew?
Mould and mildew can show up in many different places and appear in a variety of colours such as green, brown, orange, and black. Mould is a type of fungus. It grows out of airborne spores which need warm damp conditions to thrive. Mildew is a common name for the standard black mould that develops on walls, and which most homeowners are familiar with.
What Causes Mould?
Because mould needs both moisture and warmth to flourish, the most common place for it to develop is in bathrooms, kitchens, north facing rooms, or places with water leaks. Bad ventilation is often a large factor in the development of mould as it allows condensation to develop, creating an ideal habitat for fungus.
How To Identify Mould
The easiest way to check if the stain is mould or just dirt is by selecting a spot and putting a little household bleach on the stain. If the discolouration starts to disappear it is mould, bleach alone will not affect a stain, but it kills the growing fungus. If the stain is just dirt, it can easily be covered by paint but mould must be killed before being painted over. If it is not it will bleed through any type of paint.
Once you know that there is mould present, you can easily clean it with a simple water and bleach mixture. Make sure to have protection for hands, eyes, lungs, and any surfaces that could be stained, as household bleach is a toxic chemical that requires safety measures. Mix one part bleach to three parts water, apply it to the affected area with a sponge. Allow it to set for half an hour and then rinse off. Tougher stains may require scrubbing.
Painting and Decorating Stains
Once the mould is removed and the area is fully dry it is ready to be repainted. Adding an anti-mould or anti-fungal product to the paint can help prevent reoccurrence. The best paint to use is a soft sheen or satin emulsion, it will not prevent regrowth but it is easier to clean should mould reappear. It is better to use a water-based paint since oil-based paints are more susceptible to mould growth. This Hamilton Perfection Pure Synthetic Paint Brush is ideal for spot painting, as is the Hamilton Prestige Pure Synthetic Paint Brush both are ideal for water-based paints. For whole room decorating, the Hamilton Prestige 5 Piece Roller Kit is perfect. If the mould has penetrated the plaster, the use of mould block paint is recommended to prevent the mould from bleeding through the new paint.
Care And Prevention
Preventing future mould or mildew is about controlling damp within the home. Proper ventilation is key to preventing condensation and eventual fungal growth. Allowing baths, shower doors, and towels to dry fully in well-ventilated areas will help cut down a lot of the risk of mould. A dehumidifier can help with extreme damp. It is important to repair any leaks immanently and to make sure the area is able to fully dry before redecorating.
Knowing the causes of mould can go a long way in helping to fight it. Just as knowing how best to clean and repair affected areas can. Using this knowledge means mould does not have a chance to grow.
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