How to remove mould
How to remove mould is a question I get asked quite a lot about, that and mould prevention prevention. Mould is quite common in the home.
Why does it appear in your home?
Usually you’ll find this fungus in a bathroom that doesn’t have good ventilation or in a north facing room with cold walls. It loves walls and ceilings that are cold because cold walls are great for condensation and when you have little or no air circulation because of bad ventilation the conditions are ripe for this type of fungus to take up home. You’ll also find it in cupboards, wardrobes and pretty much anywhere there’s little air circulation. How to remove mould can be quite a popular question in the winter months.
Are all moulds the same?
No there are quite a few different types, some worse for your health than others.
How to remove mould?
There are quite a few mould killing products on the market, which do more or less the same job. Usually you need to leave the product to soak in for half an hour before wiping away the mould.
The old fashioned way is to get some bleach and add about 3 parts water, and then use it to soak the mouldy area. You then leave the bleach to do its stuff for about half an hour before returning and wiping it away. This works better if you can leave the bleach on for longer because it does need to work its way into the mould in order to kill it off.
Whichever method you decide to use make sure to wear gloves and protective clothes too just in case!
That’s how to remove mould, now for prevention.
Once the mould has been killed off you now have a few options for prevention. The best thing you can do is keep the room warm and well aired but sometimes that’s not enough. If the mould problem is on a painted wall then you have some options:
- Repaint the wall with a softsheen or satin emulsion. This won’t stop it returning but it will make it a lot easier to remove.
- Use an anti mould additive mixed into some paint, this will help inhibit its growth.
- Use an anti-fungal or anti mould paint. Don’t use this to paint over mould because it slows down or stops mould growth but won’t kill mould that is already present.
- Use a mould block paint to prevent it coming through the paint, then just paint as normal. This is advised if the mould has gotten underneath the paint and into the plaster because once it’s in the plaster it’s very hard to kill with bleach or any other product and it can fester away. Mould block will prevent it coming through the paint.
To further help prevent mould reappearing make sure that the room is kept warm and well ventilated. If you don’t then mould will probably find a way of coming back. These mould solutions will only go so far for you.
I like to use a product by Zinsser called permawhite. Its easy to use, self priming and contains a biocide that will prevent mould or mildew from forming on its surface. Even though it is a self priming paint you should make sure not to paint it straight over mould or mildew. Kill off the mould using one of the methods described above and if you are still in doubt apply a coat of Bin primer first before you use the permawhite. It comes in an eggshell, satin and semigloss finish.
Have a look at the pictures below, you can easily recognise this type of fungus when you see it. This bathroom was pretty infested with the stuff because there were lots of people in the house using the shower and the dinky little fan in the ceiling just couldn’t cope with all the moisture. During the winter the windows were kept closed which led to increased moisture in the room. The ceiling and walls had been painted with a normal matt emulsion which just won’t work in a wet room. For wet rooms you need to use a softsheen at least or even a satin or eggshell finish. A sheen finish prevents moisture seeping through and undermining the paint. As you can see in the picture on the left all the paint is peeling away.
In the picture on the right you can see how it turned out. The mould was killed and blocked because it had gotten through the paint and into the plaster above. The ceiling was then finished with a water based softsheen which should prevent this situation occurring again.