Mould is an unwelcome visitor to a lot of homes and usually makes an appearance when the weather turns colder. It is a fungus that grows best in warm, damp, humid conditions and reproduces by making spores. It grows in our home because of the ideal conditions such as moisture and warm air. Mould can grow on wood products, carpets, drywall, ceiling tiles, cardboard, plants, foods, wallpaper, and fabric. It’s important to find out what’s causing the mould and take steps to fix the problem or it will keep recurring. You may need to call in a professional for this.

 

Mould is dangerous in our homes as it produces allergens and irritants that can be harmful to our health. This is especially true for babies, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with respiratory problems.

 

It will continue to develop until it’s cleaned and removed. Be warned that dead spores can be just as harmful to our health, so it’s important you take the proper precautions when removing it.

 

Removing mould

If it is just a patch of mould then you could tackle it yourself. It’s vital that you wear goggles, gloves and a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Open the windows and keep the door closed to avoid it spreading to the rest of the house. It’s important to keep children out of the room. Fill a bucket, one part bleach to four parts water, or simply use vinegar. Use a damp cloth to carefully wipe the mould off the wall. Don’t brush it off. When you’ve finished, dry the area well with a clean cloth.

 

Afterwards, put the cloths you used in a plastic bag and dispose of them. Hoover and wipe down all surfaces of the room with a wet cloth to remove any spores that may have fallen. This is only a short term solution and the mould will probably grow back again unless you take steps to prevent it. After removing mould, paint your home with anti-mould paint.

 

Affected upholstery should be shampooed, perhaps by a professional, and clothes should be dry cleaned.

 

Steps to prevent mould

Dry house

Make sure your house is dry. Fix leaks on the roof, walls, in pipes and the foundation of the house.

 

Improve air flow

Ventilate your home. Open a bedroom window for around 15 minutes everyday or leave doors open as much as possible.

 

Declutter

Clean out and dump any junk from rooms and wardrobes. If there is too much clutter in any area the airflow will be constricted and mould may develop.

 

Limit indoor plants

While indoor plants improve the air quality in our home, it’s advisable not to have too many as mould can grow in plant soil.

 

Carpets

Hoover carpets regularly and have them deep cleaned once a year if you suspect mould.

 

Laundry

Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine as mould will form quickly.

 

Dry clothes outside if possible, if not dry them in a tumble dryer.  Avoid putting wet clothes on a radiator or a clothes horse because without ventilation, the moisture will evaporate from the clothes and settle on the ceiling and walls, contributing to your mould problem. If you must use a clothes horse, keep a window open to ventilate the room.

 

Steam

Don’t leave kettles boiling and cover saucepans when possible. Make sure to open a window while cooking or turn an extractor fan.

 

Showering

When showering, turn on the extractor fan and close the bathroom door to prevent moisture from spreading through the house. Open a window once you have finished.

 

After your shower or bath make sure to dry down the shower and the bath tub.

 

Don’t leave towels in a heap instead spread them out after use so that they dry more quickly.

 

Dehumidifiers

Use dehumidifiers in areas of the house where mould tends to grow. Clean your dehumidifier regularly.

 

Finally, if you are unsure of the nature of the mould in your home, don’t take chances with your health and call in an expert who will identify the root of the problem and remove the mould safely. Then follow our helpful hints to reduce the moisture in your home and keep the mould at bay. At Liberty Insurance, we are committed to getting you ready for the real world. That’s why we offer simple and affordable home insurance.