Inclement weather conditions can cause havoc on the buildings that we call home and with large patches of rain and the humidity that can come with it, mould can at times follow affecting walls, ceilings, furnishings, and belongings. As the weather starts to cool and our homes become locked up for the winter months, reduced airflow and moisture from heaters, humidifiers and cooking can also encourage this pesky challenge to flourish.
While there are at times potential building issues that can lead to mould growth in properties, generally a few cleaning, care and maintenance tips can assist with keeping it at bay and our homes healthy during the cooler months and beyond.
Mould loves a healthy amount of moisture to help it grow and eliminating areas of dampness can assist in reducing the potential for it to take hold and cause damage to your home. Some areas to consider in the prevention of mould:
- Ensure that the property has good ventilation. Turn on exhaust fans, especially in wet areas where steam is produced such as bathrooms, laundries, and kitchens.
- Dehumidifiers can help to reduce humidity and where possible control the number of indoor plants and use of humidifiers.
- On warmer or drier days, open windows, and doors to allow for cross-flow ventilation and ensure that weep holes are clear and free from dust or debris.
- Repair any leaks, clean out gutters and check areas that potentially have rising damp are rectified with adequate sub-floor ventilation.
As soon as you notice mould, it is beneficial to take steps to remove it from the surfaces that it has affected. Without treatment, it is likely to get worse and will continue to return.
- Clean the area using mould cleaners or solutions of mild detergent or vinegar diluted in water.
- Once cleaned make sure that surfaces are completely dry, and where possible air-dry affected items that have been cleaned in the sun.
- For areas that have been badly affected or in soft furnishing and fabrics, professional cleaning may be needed.
- Where required, professional mould cleaning companies can be employed to rectify the issue and restore the property.
In some cases, if mould continues to return after cleaning it may indicate that there is a larger issue, and a building inspection with a qualified tradesperson to further investigate may be necessary to ascertain the cause of the mould and work out a plan for treatment and eradication.