Whether it’s creeping into your bathroom tiles, appearing in your car, or hiding in the corners of your home, mould can be a persistent and unwelcome guest. Our friendly and easy to follow guide will help you eliminate existing mould and help keep your living spaces mould free.
What is Mould?
Mould is a microscopic organism belonging to the fungus family that is prevalent in many households. It can grow in any part of your home (or vehicle), given the presence of the following factors :
- Organic materials, such as wood, plaster, or paper.
Types of Mould
Mould can affect individuals in different ways, depending on factors like how long they’ve been exposed, their immune system, and the specific type of mould they come into contact with. That’s why mould types are often grouped into one of three categories based on their potential impact on health:
- Allergenic Mould– Allergenic mould affect those prone to allergies or asthma. The most common allergenic mould include Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium.
- Pathogenic Mould– Pathogenic mould can cause infections and health issues in humans and other organisms. They can be especially concerning for individuals with weakened immune systems, often affecting more vulnerable groups like infants, older adults, and those undergoing cancer treatments or organ transplants. The most common pathogenic mould include Aspergillus species, Cryptococcus neoformans and Histoplasma capsulatum.
- Toxic Mould– Differing from pathogenic and allergenic mould, toxic mould have a bit more of a sinister side. They produce mycotoxins, which are harmful chemicals that can lead to temporary discomfort or even longer-lasting health concerns in humans. Exposure to these mycotoxins can happen through inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion. The most common toxic mould include Fusarium species, Aspergillus species, Stachybotrys chartarum and Penicillium species.
Black mould, specifically Stachybotrys as mentioned earlier, is a bit less common than other types of mould but can pop up in areas with water damage or excess moisture. It’s earned quite the reputation for being a mould to watch out for, and rightly so, as toxic black mould can have some serious implications for your health.
Common Causes of Mould
As mentioned earlier, various factors can trigger mould growth. Here are some of the most common factors:
- Moisture – Mould tends to thrive in environments with elevated moisture levels. Any source of moisture, whether it’s from leaks, high humidity, or water damage, can create the ideal conditions for mould to take root and spread. It’s essential to control and mitigate moisture to prevent mould growth effectively.
- Leakage – Plumbing leaks, roof leaks, and other forms of water intrusion represent prime opportunities for mould to establish itself. These moisture sources, if left unattended, can provide the perfect breeding ground for mould.
- Poor Ventilation – Inadequate airflow and ventilation can lead to the accumulation of moisture indoors. When moisture is trapped, it becomes much easier for mould to develop. Proper ventilation helps in maintaining a dry and mould free environment.
- Organic Materials – Mould sustains itself by feeding on organic materials, such as wood, paper, fabric, and even food. This means that any area containing these materials is susceptible to mould growth. Regular checks and proper storage can help safeguard against mould infestation.
- Condensation – Condensation occurs when the indoor air becomes saturated with moisture. When it can no longer hold this moisture, condensation forms, particularly on cool surfaces. This moisture can foster mould growth if not addressed promptly. Managing indoor humidity and temperature can help reduce this risk and maintain a space free of mould.
How to Get Rid of Mould
Now that we’ve established the causes of mould and the adverse effects that different types can have on your health, you’ll want to know how to get rid of it. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for getting rid of mould and preventing its return:
- Safety First – Wear protective gear, including gloves, a mask, and safety glasses, to prevent exposure to mould spores. Open windows or use a fan to improve ventilation in the area.
- Identify the Source –Determine what is causing the mould growth and address it. This could be a leak, poor ventilation, or excess humidity.
- Isolate the Area – To prevent mould spores from spreading to other parts of your home, seal off the affected area with plastic sheets and tape, effectively isolating it.
- Discard Contaminated Items – If the mould has severely damaged an item, like a carpet, curtains, or insulation, it may be best to discard it. Furthermore, for porous surfaces such as drywall, it’s often advisable to remove and replace the affected material entirely.
- Remove the Mould – Several natural remedies can be employed to eliminate mould:
- Water and Detergent –For hard surfaces, use a mixture of water and detergent to scrub away the mould.
- Baking Soda & Vinegar – Create a thick paste by combining baking soda with white vinegar and water in a 2:1:1 ratio, applying it to the mould.
- Vinegar & Water – A mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water can also be used to spray on the affected area.
- Undiluted Vinegar – Spray pure white vinegar on the mould and allow it to sit for approximately an hour.
- Dry the Area –After removing the mould, thoroughly dry the area. Use dehumidifiers, fans, and open windows to help with the drying process.
Does Bleach Kill Mould?
It’s understandable if you’ve considered using bleach as a potential remedy for dealing with mould. While bleach is effective at disinfecting surfaces and removing mould stains, it may not be the best solution for tackling a mould infestation at its core. Mould often roots itself deep within porous surfaces, making it difficult for bleach to penetrate and eradicate it. Additionally, the use of bleach can release harmful fumes and may not be the most eco-friendly option.
Tips for Mould Prevention
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge you need to remove mould, it’s time to focus on prevention. After all, it’s much easier to keep mould at bay than to evict it once it has settled in:
- Seal the Entry Points – Start by addressing the external entry points for moisture in your home. Fix leaky roofs, broken pipes, and other potential culprits to ensure water doesn’t find its way inside.
- Install Exhaust Fans –Install high-quality exhaust fans in moisture-prone areas like the bathroom. By reducing moisture buildup on surfaces, you create a less inviting environment for mould to thrive.
- Ventilation – Adequate ventilation is a powerful mould deterrent. Ensure that your home and even your vehicle receive proper ventilation to keep air circulating and maintain healthy humidity levels.
- Vacuuming and Dusting – Mould needs organic matter, such as dust or dead skin cells, to thrive, so it’s essential to keep up with regular vacuuming and dusting.
- Use Dehumidifiers – Dehumidifiers are your allies in maintaining optimal indoor humidity levels. By controlling moisture, you create an inhospitable environment for mould growth.
- Reduce Clutter – Clutter can obstruct airflow and trap moisture, making it a haven for mould. Keep your living spaces tidy and organizedto promote proper air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.
How Star Car Wash Can Help ?
For car enthusiasts looking to stop mould growth in its tracks in their treasured vehicles, it’s essential to maintain a clean, dry, and well-ventilated car while promptly addressing any sources of moisture or leaks.
Star Car Wash is Australia’s leading hand car wash provider. By entrusting your car to our professionals, you’re not just getting a regular wash, you’re signing up for a meticulous attention to detail that greatly limits the space for mould to settle in.
If you’re looking to get rid of mould and prevent those unwanted guests from reappearing in your vehicle in future, find a store near you and book an appointment with us today.