Wondering how to get rid of mould in your house? Unfortunately, mould is a common nuisance and even the best-maintained buildings can be affected by it. If you’re thinking about investing in a new property, signs of mould and dampness should be flagged in a pre-purchase survey. If you’re looking to buy an older property, a building surveyor should consider this a priority when carrying out a house survey.
If left unchecked, mould can quickly spread throughout your property, leading to structural damage. Mould isn’t just destructive, it’s also hazardous to our health. Once spores are released into the air, microscopic allergens and mycotoxins can cause severe allergic reactions and lead to respiratory illnesses. Read on for everything you need to know about how to get rid of mould in your house.
What Exactly is Mould?
Before you start thinking about how to get rid of mould in your house, you’ll need to understand exactly what you’re dealing with. Essentially, mould is a type of fungus. It’s usually found in damp interiors with high levels of humidity. A moisture-rich environment and warm temperatures provide the perfect breeding ground for mould.
Mould feeds on organic material. As such, as it spreads, it usually destroys the materials it grows on. Although mould won’t consume non-organic materials like plaster, it will digest things like wood, wallpaper and upholstery.
The Irish climate provides the perfect breeding ground for mould. However, it can be hard to spot evidence of a recent mould infestation. This means many buyers miss vital signs of mould when carrying out a snag list. In many cases, only a thorough property survey followed by an engineering report will flag the issue.
Once identified, mould growth needs to be taken care of immediately. However, you’ll need to be careful when cleaning and removing mould from your walls and surfaces. When the fungus is disturbed, even more spores can be released into the environment, increasing exposure and potential health risks.
How to Get Rid of Mould in Your House: Telltale Signs
Many people only choose to tackle the issue of mould once they spot visible signs of growth on their walls. However, there are many other signs to look out for that can give you a warning your home is struggling with dampness.
Is there an unpleasant odour lingering around your home? Although different mould species produce slightly different smells, a musty scent is a dead giveaway that you’re dealing with a mould infestation. Sometimes, upping your housekeeping can resolve the issue and rule out the mould as a culprit. Make sure you’re vacuuming regularly to remove spores from carpet fibres. Steaming upholstery and renting a carpet washer is also a good idea. If a deep clean doesn’t get rid of the musty odour, something else is probably going on and you’ll need to start thinking about how to get rid of mould in your house.
Musty smells produced by mould can also be circulated through your home via your heating system or air conditioning units. The insides of these systems are damp and warm, providing the ideal breeding ground for fungi. If you’re worried about mould growth in your heating systems, make sure you’re having them inspected regularly.
Mould is more easily identified in rooms exposed to high moisture levels and humidity. It’s not uncommon to encounter minor mould infestations in bathrooms. Dark spots in grouting between tiles are something most of us must deal with. However, if an occasional application of mould and mildew remover isn’t resolving the issue, you may be dealing with a more troublesome mould species. Check adjoining rooms for signs of dampness to rule out an underlying problem.
Most wallpaper will begin to peel and discolour over time. However, if it’s only been a year or two since you redecorated, the root cause may be damp. Take a step back and check to see if the surface of your wallpaper has bubbled or cracked in places. This is a good indicator that your walls are suffering from a moisture problem.
This can be caused by an unseen leak, but may also indicate your property is suffering from rising dampness. Whatever the underlying cause, it should be remedied as a priority. Left untreated, mould growth is all but guaranteed.
Your Home is Poorly Ventilated
Condensation is unavoidable, even in homes with superior ventilation systems. However, if you’re living in an older property with second-rate ventilation, you’re looking at an increased chance of a mould infestation. Everything from perspiration to condensation produced from cooking can increase moisture levels in your home.
Using the shower at high temperatures can also increase condensation levels. Ensure you’re using your cooker hood every time you fire up the hob. If your bathroom isn’t equipped with a decent extractor fan, now’s the time to get one.
Side Effects of Mould in the Home
Encountering mould spores can lead to a wide range of health conditions. People suffering from respiratory issues are particularly at risk. In Ireland, around 380,000 people suffer from asthma, with as many as 1 in 5 children experiencing it at some point in their life. Although mould won’t trigger asthma, it can increase the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
If you’re prone to respiratory issues, you should be focusing on how to get rid of mould in your house. Signs of respiratory infections include coughing fits and a blocked or runny nose. You may also experience a sore throat or a mild fever. If you’re struggling to shake cold and flu symptoms with no apparent cause, a damp and mouldy home is an obvious culprit.
Mould can also lead to things like skin rashes. This is essentially an allergic reaction to mould spores. If you’re already susceptible to rashes and skin complaints like eczema, a mouldy environment is likely to make your condition worse. However, it’s also possible for mould to trigger first-time reactions in people. If your skin is dry and red or you’re experiencing itchy sensations with no apparent cause, mould could be the source of your problem.
How to Get Rid of Mould in Your House the Easy Way
If you’ve noticed any of the signs outlined above, now’s the time to start thinking about how to get rid of mould in your house. Although mould can be a recurrent problem, it’s easy to deal with if you tackle the issue early.
First, check the condition of your property. Inspect window and door frames to determine whether the surrounding sealant is in good condition. If it’s beginning to break down, you’re welcoming moisture into your home.
You’ll also need to keep an eye on humidity in your home. A humidity sensor will give you a clear indication of the level of moisture in your environment. If you own a humidifier, there’s a good chance your device will include a humidity sensor feature as standard.
External factors can also lead to damp issues within the home. Make sure you’re checking your guttering and drainpipes regularly. If there are any blockages, take care of them immediately to prevent overflow that can lead to damp and mould growth.
One of the best ways to keep dampness and mould at bay is to ensure your home is properly ventilated. To do this, keep internal doors open and open windows to allow a fresh breeze to circulate through your interiors. If you’re worried about existing dampness, keep furniture away from walls to prevent moisture from transferring to wood and upholstery.
If mould has already started to form, you’ll need to take care of it quickly. To begin, mix one-part neat bleach with four parts water. Now, gently soak a cloth with this formula and use it to clean away visible mould. Continue scrubbing until all signs of mould are gone. To minimise the chance of mould returning, make sure you thoroughly dry the area after cleaning.
Off-the-shelf cleaning products can also be used to target mould. However, these products are particularly aggressive and can cause skin and respiratory complaints. Wearing protective gloves, goggles and a dust mask is a good idea when cleaning the mould. Not only are you safeguarded against harmful chemicals, but you’re also protected against toxic mould spores.
Worried About Mould in Your Home?
Nobody wants to deal with a mould infestation in their home. If you’ve recently spotted signs of black mould on your property, there’s likely an underlying cause at work. This might be as simple as a condensation issue. At HomeCheck, we’ll ensure you get to the bottom of the problem.
If you think your mould problem might be a sign of something more serious, speak to the team today to see how we can help. Our expert team can undertake an in-depth property survey to identify any faults with your property. We’re the go-to survey specialists for buyers and sellers. We can also help you with other services such as land registry maps, a certificate of compliance or a full pre-purchase survey.
Get in touch via the Quote Form today for an estimate. Alternatively, call us on 1800 938 860 or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.