How to get rid of household mould build up the natural eco friendly way, and safely remove black mould patches in your bedroom and bathroom.
Mould is a serious problem for householders and can have important consequences on our health and buildings. It is therefore important to deal with the causes of mould in order to ensure its long term prevention and management.
What is mould?
Mould is caused by different types of microscopic fungi. These fungi are found everywhere and are an integral part of the ecosystem. In the home environment may colonise damp and poorly ventilated spaces, causing mould. They feed with organic matter and are reproduced by releasing spores. Mould creates ugly dark patches, which left untreated can damage the fabric of buildings; but it is the fungal spores that are of most concern for our health, and can cause asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis and other lung diseases and allergic reactions.
Signs of mould
The most common signs of mould are:
- Surfaces with black-green patches
- A bad smell
- Partial or total destruction of clothes, furniture, carpets and other items
- Respiratory and allergic health problems,
Factors that sustain and exacerbate the problem of mould in houses
The development of mould in a house is a combination of many factors:
Mould grows when the indoor relative humidity is high (> 70%) or moisture comes into the house, e.g. from the ground, or imperfections in walls and roofs.
- Organic matter, e.g. dirt, dust, traces of fats.
The existence of organic matter provides food and space for mould to grow.
- Lack of ventilation
- Relatively high temperatures: ≥ 24 - 25 oC
- Lack of lighting
Darkness helps mould to retain moisture and promote its growth.
Where does mould form?
Mould may be found anywhere in the house, but is commonly found:
1) On cold, non-insulated construction materials, e.g. window frames, beams and pillars.
2) In rooms with high relative humidity, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, especially where there is a lack of ventilation.
Mould needs oxygen to develop, but not light. Damp basements are ideal for the growth and spread of mould.
4) Cupboards in contact with the outer shell of the house.
5) Behind furniture, near the outer shell of the house.
Preventive and corrective measures against mould
The greatest enemies of mould are cleanliness, good ventilation and lack of moisture. The causes of moisture must be identified and immediate action must be taken to control, reduce or eliminate it. There are a few steps you can follow in order to prevent mould.
1) Prevent condensation
- All cold water pipes should be thermally insulated with suitable materials.
- Thermal bridging between interior and exterior surfaces should be minimised where possible.
- If you can’t avoid them, you can apply anti-mould paint, like the 327.
2) Detection and repair of damp.
3) Regular ventilation
After you finish your bath or shower, open a window or ventilate mechanically. Keep the bathroom door closed so that water vapour does not diffuse into the rest of the house.
4) Reduction and rationalisation of vapour production
Bathrooms and kitchens should have natural or mechanical ventilation. There should be no unnecessary use of humidifiers. Also, avoid drying clothes on radiators.
5) Identify water egress in roofs, walls and basements and repair them.
6) Remove infected objects.
Cleaning measures and materials
Where mould has taken hold, it is important to deal with it as soon as possible, because every air movement stirs up the mould spores all over the house. Do not rub the walls and surfaces that have mould with dry sandpaper before removing the mould with a disinfectant solution or cleaning spray. We suggest using Auro 412 on the mouldy areas first, leaving from an hour and then wiping off. Once clean and dried, use Auro 413 to prevent the mould from reoccurring. These natural and eco friendly Auro mould sprays are preferable, because they are easy to use, don’t have odour and do not leave toxic residues.