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How to get rid of mould

Jane

Have you noticed mould or damp in your home? The sooner you can find the cause, the better!

Removal is essential to prevent mould from producing allergens, irritants and toxic substances. The longer you leave it, the higher the chance of the mould negatively affecting your health.

Damp and mould in the home can cause several respiratory problems, including respiratory infections, allergies and asthma. It can also affect the immune system. It’s particularly dangerous for babies and children, the elderly, those with existing skin conditions like eczema, those with respiratory problems and those with a weakened immune system.

Ready to banish mould from your home? Here we’ll give you a rundown of the possible causes, tips to prevent mould growth and advice on how to carry out black mould removal.

What causes mould?

Mould is a fungus that breaks down dead material. It likes to grow in homes that offer ideal conditions for it, i.e. plenty of moisture, warm air and favourable materials to feed on, such as wood and carpet.

Mould and damp are usually caused by excess moisture. This may be a result of plumbing issues, like a leaking pipe, rising damp in a basement or on a ground floor or rain seeping in from a damaged roof or window frame. Mould can also grow in newly built homes if the materials used to build the property are still drying out, or the house is built in damp conditions.

Condensation is a key perpetrator in the growth of mould, hence why it’s often found in bathrooms. Condensation forms when the air inside a building can’t hold any more moisture, so by showering or bathing without adequate ventilation, you’re potentially increasing the chances of mould. The same goes for cooking and drying clothes indoors.

If you spot any of the following, you may have a mould problem developing in your home:

  • Water droplets collecting on window sills and walls
  • Black spots growing on your walls, surfaces and carpets
  • Peeling paint or plaster
  • Spots of mould on clothing and soft furnishings
  • Plaster bubbling on interior walls
  • Brown marks (known as tide marks caused by rising damp)
  • Brittle and deteriorating skirting boards
  • Damp, musty smell

If you notice any of these, you will need to find the source of the problem and get rid of the mould.

How to prevent damp and mould

Successful damp prevention and mould prevention can be achieved by limiting condensation in your home. Remember to use lids on your saucepans when cooking (and pop the fan on), try drying your washing outside on warmer days and open up a window for a few minutes each morning.

It’s also essential to make sure your home is well insulated. Properly-fitted double glazed windows are essential.

Heating your home correctly is important too. If your home is prone to excess moisture, we’d suggest using a dehumidifier to get rid of it. It’ll also keep your home warm and comfortable.

Finally, we’d advise performing regular inspections of your home’s exterior. Make sure the roof is regularly checked for holes and damage. Keep guttering clear and free of debris. Inspect exterior brickwork for cracking.

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Fixing your mould problem

Before you try our mould removal tips, it’s crucial to find the source of the excess moisture. Removing the mould without fixing the problem will be counterproductive, as it’ll just keep growing back.

Leaky toilets, sinks and other plumbing leaks must be identified and repaired as soon as possible by a qualified plumber. If you have home cover for pipework, it’s worth checking to see if repairs and maintenance are included, to keep your costs to a minimum.

Not protected? Maybe you should be! Hometree’s home care plans include protection for your plumbing and water supply pipes.

If mould is forming as a result of a roof or window leak, you will also need to seek expert advice for repairs. The sooner you take action, the better!

Mould removal tips

Mould can cause severe and expensive damage to your home, hence why we recommend taking a proactive approach to keeping your home free from damp and excess moisture.

Getting rid of mould is often a simple task and something you can do without expert help.

Black mould is mostly caused by condensation and is relatively harmless. The NHS website states that providing it covers an area of less than 1 metre squared. You can safely attempt black mould removal yourself.

Before you clean the mould:

  • Protect yourself from mould spores by wearing goggles and long rubber gloves
  • Open the windows to increase ventilation
  • Keep doors shut to prevent the spreading of spores
  • Bag up any soft furnishings or clothing that have mould growing on them (you may be able to get them professionally dry cleaned)

To clean the mould off walls:

  • Fill up a bucket with warm water and washing-up liquid or soap for handwashing clothes
  • Dip a cloth into the soapy water and use it to wipe the mould off your walls or surfaces
  • Try not to brush the mould as this can spread the spores
  • Use a dry rag to remove excess moisture from the wall
  • Throw any cleaning cloths you use away afterwards
  • Alternatively, use your vacuum cleaner to remove spores and empty the contents into a bag / throw away the vacuum bag afterwards

Do not attempt to use undiluted bleach to remove mould. It’s likely to strip your paintwork or damage your wallpaper. Warm water and a mild detergent should be just fine!

When to use a mould removal service

If you have a widespread mould problem or believe it is another type of mould growing in your home (blue or green), you’ll need to seek help from an expert in damp and mould removal. Some mould may be caused by sewage or contaminated water, so you mustn’t try and deal with it yourself.

Search online for mould removal experts in your area and shop around for the best quote. Always check reviews and get recommendations wherever possible.

Got a question? Ask Hometree!

We hope our post has answered any questions you have about black mould removal and how to remove damp. If you need further advice and you’re interested in our home protection for plumbing, feel free to call 0800 368 9881 and speak to a friendly member of our team.

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