How to prevent and eliminate mould in our homes?

This month we want to talk to you about how to avoid and eliminate mould in your home. But first, what is mould?

Moulds are microscopic organisms that live in animal or vegetable matter. It grows when the conditions are right, they only need a damp surface with organic matter on it (ceiling panels, drywall, wallpaper, natural fibre carpets...).

It is important that when we see mould starting to appear we eliminate it as it can cause damage inside our home and sometimes health problems such as allergies or asthma (although these are rarely serious).

How do I know if I have mould?

The presence of these fungi is usually detected visibly or by smell. The appearance of the fungus is like a patch with a kind of slightly discoloured and viscous hair as it grows. The smell of these fungi is similar to that of damp, so when we start to smell damp in our home we can be alert to eliminate them as soon as we see them.

The best way to find fungus is to examine different areas for signs of mould growth, water stains or by smell to follow the odour until you find the source. Other clues are excess moisture or damage to the water system. Sometimes it is necessary to look behind and under surfaces such as carpets, furniture and walls.

There are some areas of the house that are more prone to fungal growth, these are:

  • The fridge door

  • Shower curtains

  • Window mouldings

  • Shower enclosures and bathroom tiles

  • Surfaces around air conditioners

How to prevent mould?

It is important that regular checks are carried out in those places that are most prone to mould, as well as annual checks of ceilings, pipes and drains.

Another tip to prevent the appearance of this fungus is to have ventilation in bathrooms in order to eliminate water vapour condensation caused by showers.

We can also purchase anti-mould products such as special wall paints, anti-mould cleaners, silicone, humidifiers, etc. These products will help to prevent the appearance of mould.

How to get rid of mould?

It is advisable to have the mould removal work carried out by a qualified mould removal company to ensure that it does not come back, but there are also some home remedies that, if the mould is on a small surface, can help to temporarily remove it until the problem is solved.

  • Bleach: Mix 1 cup of bleach with water and put the solution in a spray bottle, or spread it on with a sponge or cloth. No rinsing is necessary.

  • Borax: Mix 1 cup of borax with water. Apply the solution to the surface and scrub with a brush. No rinsing is necessary and the surface should be wiped dry.

  • Vinegar: Use high strength vinegar in a spray bottle, spray the affected area and wipe clean.

  • Baking soda: Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with water and scrub the mouldy surface, then rinse with water.

  • Tea tree oil: Use 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil per cup of water and spray on the surface. Leave for a few minutes and then wipe off.

  • Ammonia: Suitable for killing mould on smooth, non-porous surfaces. Never use mixed with bleach. Treat the area with an equal parts solution of ammonia and water, leave for 10 minutes, and rinse with water.

It is important to wear rubber gloves, goggles and a mask to avoid breathing in the mould.

As we have read in these lines, mould can become a problem for our home, but if we carry out regular checks of the places most prone to the appearance of these fungi, it does not have to be a problem. However, if we already have mould, it is advisable to call in a professional to remove all traces of mould and then find a solution to the source of the problem. We can eliminate it ourselves with some of the tricks we have mentioned, but hiring a professional will ensure that it disappears.