What is mould and what causes it?

What is mould, and what causes it?

Mould is a moisture-loving fungus that grows in damp, poorly ventilated areas. Like most fungi, it thrives in environments with excess moisture, so leaky pipes and excess condensation make your home vulnerable to mould. It reproduces by releasing mould spores into the air, which grow when they land on a suitably damp surface.

Mould growth is more than a cosmetic issue. It’s also a health hazard. According to Better Health, mould exposure weakens immune systems, triggers allergies and exacerbates asthma.

How do I get rid of mould?

If your home has an existing mould issue, you need to remove it quickly. The best removal method depends on the amount of mould and the type of surface it’s growing on. Removing mould from mouldy carpet is very difficult, so the best solution is usually to replace it. However, when mould grows on a non-porous surface like plasterboard or concrete, which is likely the case in a bathroom or laundry area, you can clean it off, provided you’re dealing with a small amount.

Most experts suggest using undiluted vinegar to attach mould on this type of surface. If you’re tackling the problem yourself, make sure you protect yourself with gloves and a mask).

Once you’ve made sure you’re safe, use a spray bottle to apply vinegar to the mould and leave it to sit for around an hour. Allowing the mould to absorb the vinegar for an extended period makes it easier to wipe away the mould.

You may find that this is enough to fix the problem. If not, don’t despair! Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in two cups of cold water and use the solution to scrub away any excess growth with a scouring pad before rinsing with warm water. For good measure, spray the area with another round of vinegar or baking soda. Don’t worry! The vinegar smell fades as the solution dries.

How do I stop mould from growing back?

If you’ve successfully contained a mould outbreak, the last thing you want is to see it grow back. Whether you’re dealing with a bathroom, subfloor or even laundry area, you need to check for leaking pipes or other sources of moisture that might contribute to an ideal environment for mould growth. If you’ve eliminated these, the next step is to think about ventilation.

We suggest using an exhaust fan to extract air from the building. It’s best to duct the exhaust fan outside instead of into a wall or ceiling cavity. Of course, no single exhaust fan suits every situation, so check out our exhaust fan guide for the information you need to choose an exhaust fan that suits your needs. 

 

View our exhaust fan guide

 

Need help finding an exhaust fan to prevent mould growth in your home? Contact us!