You can find mould growing in almost any surface in your home, and it’s not easy to get rid of it. These black, brown or green microscopic fungi can grow in any area that is damp, warm or humid. On the other hand, mildew, technically a species of mould, is easily identified by its strong odour. Appearing as a fuzzy white build-up in bathrooms, mildew sticks to the grout between the tiles.
Aside from your home, mould and mildew also affects your health too. The particles they release can worsen asthma and allergies, and even trigger headaches. Here’s how to identify and remove mould and mildew growth in your home:
Finding Where the Mould Is
Follow the moisture and you will surely find mould growth. They thrive on excess or trapped water. Look for condensation in the wet areas of your home such as bathroom, laundries and kitchen, particularly the windows, toilet tanks, the areas around appliances and plumbing fixtures. Also look for any standing exterior water. A sure sign of mould build-up is black or dark green mottling on surfaces.
How to Get Rid of Mould
- Reduce moisture in the vulnerable parts of your home by doing a maintenance check and repairing leaky pipes, dripping taps, roof leaks or foundation cracks. Any water spill should also be mopped up immediately.
- If you had experienced common mould episodes, ensure no mould has settled in the walls behind the sofa or the bed.
- If you spot moisture near a vent or if you smell something mouldy when checking the air-conditioners and heating ducts, call a specialist. And make sure there is good ventilation in your house.
- Here are ways to prevent mould build-up in the bathroom: eliminate dirt, grease and body oil on all surfaces; avoid soggy towels by spreading them to let them dry completely, or install a heated towel rail; and invest in a dehumidifier to keep your surroundings dry, especially during the problematic months of the year.
- Wiping the mould away is not an effective solution. If there is mould, it means there is a moisture problem inside the walls or ceilings. The only way to prevent mould growth is by looking for and fixing the water source. Hire a specialist if you are not confident of handling the problem.
Solutions for Serious Mould
- For clothes with mould, wash them in the washing machine and add white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar is also effective against mildew on porcelain, ceramic tiles and other hard, non-porous surfaces.
- Mix a half cup hydrogen peroxide to one cup water and use it to eliminate the moulds from your bathroom tiles and grout. Spray the mixture on the surface, leave to dry, and then with a damp cloth.
- Re-grouting is your best option if the bathroom or kitchen wall still has stubborn mould stains. The caulk and stained grout are scraped, and an antimicrobial treatment is applied before re-grouting. This is a job best handled by a professional.