What is Mould
Don’t panic – mould or mold is everywhere, albeit in small quantities. The problem here is when there’s a lot of it, and worse still, it’s in your house.
Mould can be found in trees, leaves, soil and any organic environment you can imagine and some that you can’t. Mould spores are in the very air that we breath but the problem is not so much that it exists – and will continue to regardless of what we do – but more the sheer number of mold spores created in a mold outbreak that can make our lives a misery and in extreme cases make us very ill indeed. We appear to be tolerant of some more than others.
Black mould (S.Chartarum) is considered to be the worst of the bunch but these nasty little, and I mean little, devils are still being researched as to their health impacts on us. Black mould spores can hide in other colonies of otherwise less dangerous moulds and lay dormant for a long time waiting for the right environment to flower and spread. Because of this and the fact that black mould is common, all mould should be treated as potentially dangerous. The main symptoms of toxic poisoning from mold revolve around difficulty in breathing which can easily become acute in asthma sufferers.
Getting Rid Of Mould
Mold thrives in a damp, porous environment so its no surprise to find it staring up at you from the grout lines in the shower in the morning or hanging off the ceiling in the laundry. Mould in homes is a war that can never be completely won but that’s not going to stop us having a fight and winning a few battles – right!
If you have a major outbreak of mold in your house, we recommend you consider professional mold removal companies as they have systemised methods of mold removal and specialised products which are designed to be safe and very effective.
Cleaning mould yourself safely is also possible if you take certain precautions. Never brush down or scrape dry mold or do anything to make it air-born. Always wear a good quality mask, gloves and disposable coveralls or old clothes. Make sure the area is gently (no fan) ventilated and no one else is present. Move or cover any objects or furniture.
This is for hard surfaces only. Spray ‘off the shelf’ mould remover or mix your own using 1 part bleach to 4 parts water and saturate mouldy and adjoining areas making sure you test surfaces first. Caution; Never mix bleach and ammonia together as they produce deadly chlorine gas. Let stand for 5 minutes then scrub and scrape mold off surface. When finished repeat this process with clean 1 to 4 mix making sure that every last bit of mould is removed. The final step is to mix a new solution 1 part bleach to 8 parts water and with clean cloths wipe the mouldy spots and adjoining areas again taking care to dry off thoroughly. Make sure you do not put the mold you have taken off back on while you are cleaning.
Well done – you can now go and sit down with a coffee and consider the next phase which is probably the hardest.
What To Throw Out
Cleaning mold from porous items like soft furnishings, pillows, carpets and unpainted plasterboard is virtually impossible so you may want to consider replacement if the mold is bad. Due to the buildup of organic materials on pillows which attract dust mites, bacteria and mould, it is recommended that they be replaced every year (in hot climates) anyway so there’s a good excuse to buy new. With your more expensive furnishings you may have some success in keeping the mold spores at bay with a new product called “Mould Power” which contains no chlorine(bleach) and is recommended for this purpose.
Keep Mould Free
You are now done cleaning mold, now lets try and keep it that way with some tips that make sense. Mould just loves humid conditions and Queensland humidity often reaches 94% which is the magic number that really gets things moving in the world of mould. Try not to use humidifiers like evaporative coolers as you are trying to reduce humidity not increase it. Modern air conditioning is very good at removing moisture from the air on those humid days. If you have a flood, leaking roof or burst pipe, try and dry it out asap.
The most important thing you can do – and I see this all the time – is to provide adequate ventilation with a breezeway effect opposite ends of the property. Just open and secure your windows a fraction – it will make all the difference. Next time you paint, consider using products like Dulux Bathroom & Laundry” as they contain mould inhibitors.Mold inhibitors are also available and are designed to be added and mixed into paints.
Lastly – consider using Mould Power by Ozkleen, it’s chlorine free and, based on experience, is a great way to keep the mould at bay if used regularly. I am not on commission here, I promise……….well, at least not yet.
Good luck with your project