mould removal

How to get rid of mould

How to get rid of mould (Mould Removal)

Not only is the mould on the walls unsightly-it can also affect your health. Luckily there are ways of avoiding fungus on walls and keeping your home safe. 

Mould spores are in every form of environment around us. Mould is a fungus and some varieties are highly beneficial to humans (think of penicillin), while others can be quite harmful to crops, respiratory systems, and structural integrity.

Here’s how you can deal with it naturally without leach, harsh acids or costly disinfectants.

Pre-Monsoon Warning (Mould Removal)

Go a decluttering drive before the monsoon sets in. With the increased air humidity every object becomes a possible mould host. Rid all unwanted and unused products from your home especially those made of bio-based materials. This includes books, clothes, furniture, furnishings, shoes and pieces of decoration that are exposed to humidity.

Boost airflow by ensuring cross ventilation in your home. Keep windows open to let fresh air in, whenever possible. Avoid keeping furniture close to walls and cupboards, or near them. Keep cabinet and wardrobe doors open to let air in.

Humidity build-up in the kitchen and bathroom is greatest. Install an exhaust fan for controlling steam and cooking fumes outside in these regions. Make sure the windows are open while cooking, dishes are washed or the floor mopped. Dry the bathroom floor immediately after a bath, to avoid fungus from destroying tiles and fittings in the bathroom. After bathing or cleaning hold the bathroom door open to allow floors and walls to dry out. During the monsoon, avoid using shower curtains and thick mats in the bathroom, as they hold moisture and grow mildew.

Use waterproof paint to protect indoor walls or ceilings which are particularly vulnerable to damage, blistering and peeling water.

Fix your home’s wet areas: Find spots that are vulnerable to water stagnation. Reparation of any leaky pipes and AC vents; inspecting under sinks, around drains and low-lying spaces such as basement to find cracks and avoid flow and flood.

Cover food grains on a balcony or terrace by sun-drying them before packing them away in airtight containers. Hold your spices with dry roasting and sun-drying before the rains set in, then store them in airtight containers for longer duration. Preserve spices which are less used by keeping them in the refrigerator.

Look out during the monsoon (Mould Removal)

Don’t leave any wet things lying around: Whether it’s damp sheets, blankets, mops, shoes or bags, mould likes moisture. Before throwing your clothes into the washing machine or laundry basket, make sure to dry out first. Do not store wet shoes in closed dressing rooms. Before putting them away it is best to air out damp objects under the fan.

Clothing is vulnerable to fungus attacks in the rainy season, particularly less-used products. Clothes you carefully iron, fold and store away become fungus magnets. Never store clothes when they are wet during the rainy season. Secure your wardrobe with dehumidifiers that can prevent humidity from building up, such as silica gels, activated charcoal and other moisture absorbers.

If you have to dry out your laundry indoors, stop washing too many clothes at once. Place the washed items out and dry in a well-ventilated room. In the monsoon, stop washing curtains, bed linen, blankets and thick towels, instead preferring to have them washed dry. Before putting them in the washing machine, soak clothes in a mild disinfectant.

The goal is to avoid the build-up of as much humidity as possible. Cover dishes while cooking to prevent steam from escaping, do not overwater or spray indoor plants, and avoid letting water remain in buckets or pool in the plates in your sink.

Store food to as far as possible in airtight containers. Keep packets of grain, flour, and pulses in the freezer or fridge after purchase for a day or two to prevent bacterial growth. Food grains stored in plastic grow moulds faster than when stored in containers made of glass or stainless steel.

How to get rid of normal mould and fungus

 Sunshine (Mould Removal)

In the monsoon sunny days are rare. But sunlight is a natural disinfectant, so make the most of the days when the sun’s out by drying out damp linens, laundry, mattresses, books and shoes in a sunny spot, opening up windows and sun-drying damp food grains.

 Vinegar Vinegar (Mould Removal)

Distilled white vinegar is said to kill 82 per cent of mould organisms. Simply pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and immediately spray it onto the mouldy surface. Let it sit for an hour, until the mould absorbs the vinegar. Then clean off with the hot water and a towel. Clean the hot water area, and wipe the area dry.

For clothing: Soak mouldy clothes in a hot water bucket to which a cup of white vinegar is applied. You can also add vinegar to your washing machine to rid your clothes and linens of the musty smell.

For leather: First, swab the leather goods off all the mildew. Then wash it with a rag soaked in vinegar. Let dry air.

Baking sauce (Mould Removal)

Vinegar can also be used in conjunction with baking soda to increase its efficacy. Sprinkle the baking soda onto a mouldy layer or spray a 1 teaspoon baking soda solution and 2 cups of hot water directly onto the mould. Let it sit with a brush for an hour before scrubbing, and rinse off the residue. Offer final vinegar spray to the area to disinfect the vinegar and prevent it from regrowth. Wipe over dry.

Neem (Mould Removal)

Its anti-fungal properties make it perfect to keep the neem safe from mould and fungus. It is also an efficient way to stop mites and silverfish infestation in your garments and get rid of foul odours without any possibility of discolouration. Around 10-15 bunches of neem leaves dry in the shade before the rains set in. Shade-drying retains the essential oils in the leaves and increases their efficacy. Create your own fungal pouches by wrapping in a cloth some neem leaves and putting them in your wardrobe and bookshelves. They can be put between piles of clothes or on hangers in the pockets of coats, shirts and trousers.

Lemon (Mould Removal)

The 5 percent acid in lemon juice makes this a mild natural bleaching agent and cleaner for moulds. For a variety of materials, it is an excellent mould repellent-from bathroom tiles to clothing. Second, wash the area with hot water to purify mouldy tiles and surfaces. Rinse and directly apply the lemon juice to the mould, before scrubbing with a scouring pad or brush. Its fresh fragrance makes it also effective on musty-smelling laundry. Before washing, soak your clothes in warm water with 1⁄2 cup of lemon juice. Also you can add 1⁄2 cup of juice to a laundry load and wash with your regular detergent.

Lemon often eliminates mildew stains on clothing, but it must be applied with care, as it has a bleaching effect and can cause colours to fade. It is therefore best used on white garments or fast-coloured fabrics. Apply the lemon juice into the infected areas. Only let it sit for half an hour until you rinse. Alternatively, soak a piece of lemon juice cloth, and put it on the stain. Let it have a half hour soak. Remove the cloth and sprinkle with salt to enhance the lemon impact. Wash the object as usual, and dry it.

Cleaning mouldy appliances such as ovens, blenders, and coffee machines can be used with a combination of lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar.

Camphor (Mould Removal)

Camphor acts as a natural repellent insect and non-toxic alternative to naphthalene balls. As with the neem, make pouches that contain a few camphor tablets and a few cloves. Place the pouches in your closet, bookshelf or shoe rack to cover them and give them a good odour. Camphor fumes are also known to form a rust-preventative coating which makes it effective in preventing tools and other metalware from being damaged.

Light (Mould Removal)

Fungus and mildew flourish in poorly ventilated, damp, wet areas. Up the light received by your quarters, replace heavy and dark curtains with lighter fabrics and colours. By installing a lamp in dim, damp spaces like bathrooms, wardrobes, laundry areas and kitchens, you can also tackle the scarcity of natural light in the monsoon. Keep it turned on during the rains for several hours daily. The heat and light that the bulb produces will reduce the moisture in these areas and prevent fungi from taking hold.

 Safety considerations when extracting mould

Some individuals, including pregnant women, children and people with weakened immune systems or chronic lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive lung disease, should not remove or be present while removing mould.

 If you are allergic or sensitive to mould, you can develop stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing or irritation of the skin or breathing problems. People with compromised immune systems and chronic lung conditions are potentially vulnerable to infection.

 Do not dry the mouldy region, as the brush can flick spores into the air in which they can be breathed. If you are vacuum mould-affected areas, use a HEPA (high quality particulate air) philtre just to vacuum them. A HEPA philtre is a type of philtre that can capture large quantities of very small particles which would simply be placed back into the air by other vacuum cleaners.

 If you have wanted to remove mould, make sure there is adequate ventilation and wear protective clothing, such as a shower cap, rubber gloves, eye protection, overalls, appropriate footwear and a face mask P1 or P2 (available from your hardware shop).

 Consider: Before you decide to wear a face mask: (Mould Removal)

• They can be hot and uncomfortable to wear.

• The face mask is much less effective if the seal around the face and mouth is weak (for example, people with beards do not get a good seal).

• They can make breathing more difficult for you, so anyone with a pre-existing heart or lung disease should seek medical advice before using them.

If you are asthmatic and want to do the clean-up job, do bring your asthma medicine with you. If you notice any symptoms of asthma, get some fresh air and follow your action plan for asthma

Steps to remove moulds in your home

There are three steps you can take when removing mould at home, including removing the moisture source, extracting the mould and preventing mould regrowth.

 Remove moisturising source

Mould only grow in unventilated damp spaces. Check for water sources from broken pipes and drains, and call a plumber if repairs are appropriate.

 Take off the mould

Wash sheets, bedding and other pieces of soft clothing, such as soft toys, in a hot cycle washer machine. Wash all of the clothes you used to individually clean on other garments.

Any dirty soft furniture which cannot be placed into a washing machine will need to be professionally washed. If not, they would need to be thrown out.

Clean all hard surfaces which are contaminated thoroughly. In certain instances, if used properly, the household detergent will do the work. Check the product label to see how much to use and what materials to use on. Do not mix detergents with bleaches in the same bucket together, as this can release hazardous fumes. Apply the cleaner before you mop or sponge it up and give it time to work.

 Go over it again with an antibacterial disinfectant after washing a room or object to destroy germs and remove any odours.

 Prevent resurgence of moulds (Mould Removal)

After washing, mould occasionally grows again. If small regeneration areas occur, treat them with either:

• Vinegar (one part of vinegar to three parts water)

• Tea tree oil (two teaspoons in water, in two cups)

• Solution of hydrogen peroxide (use according to label directions).

 Consult a licenced mould remediation officer if wide areas of mould regrowth occur.

 To reduce the chance of mould regrowth, it is important to dry the area where the mould grew. The best way to dry out a room is to open doors and windows to air the building thoroughly.

 Can be used with portable mechanical heaters (available from hirers of equipment). However, if you dry out a flood-affected area too soon, there is a chance of harm to the building so if you plan to use mechanical dryers, seek professional advice from a building surveyor.

 Mind to never use indoor petrol or diesel generators or outdoor gas heaters.  If flooding has occurred in the region, the wall lining (plaster) may have to be removed to allow proper drying of the internal walls.

Products that must destroy (Mould Removal)

• Chlorine bleach: Sodium hypochlorite or standard household bleach works best in killing mould and eliminating any discoloration. It’s very tough and should be diluted before using.3

Caution

Caution should never be mixed with ammonia, due to toxicity and harmful fumes and bleach.

• Hydrogen peroxide: Less harsh than chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide (three to ten percent solution) destroys moulds and lightens stains. While it does have a bleaching effect, it works slower than chlorine bleach but does not have any harmful fumes or residues.

• White vinegar distilled: The vinegar is acidic and slowly breaks down and destroys the mould framework. Vinegar is non-toxic but mould stains may remain, and extra scrubbing may be needed with a household cleaner.

• Baking soda and borax: Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and borax both have a high pH inhibiting mould development and survival. Both products are cheap, non-toxic and easy to blend with water. Borax can perform well to eliminate any remaining stains but not as well as a stronger product for cleaning.

Do not rinse off the cleaning solution entirely while using either of these items. Leaving a little of the cleaner can help prevent potential growth in the mould.

Removal from Fabric (Mould Removal)

If your home has been flooded and mould and bacteria have been left to grow for several days, recovery of fabric products will not be possible. However, if mildew has formed due to humidity and is detected early, it can be removed easily from most fabrics.

Second, take the things outside to brush away as much surface mould as possible to avoid spreading the mould spores inside your house. If the fabric is washable, use the prescribed hottest water on the care label and apply a disinfectant. If stains linger, make an oxygen bleach and water solution, and allow the clothes to soak for at least eight hours. Oxygen bleach on any washable fabric can be used safely.3

For fabrics that are just dry clean, brush the mildew outside and then head to today’s professional cleaner book @ dirt2tidy.co.uk or call us at @+44 3333034281. Identify and point out the stains, and repair most fabrics.

Leather Shoes, Jackets, Furniture and Accessories

If necessary, remove moulds on leather jackets, shoes, purses and furniture from outside. Wipe the surface with a cloth dipped in distilled white vinegar and then warm water and a strong leather soap. Dry with soft cloth and allow fully dry air. Then clean the object with a leather conditioner until it is fully dry.

Books and Posts

Eventually Mould can kill paper but it can be extracted successfully. Consult a knowledgeable curator for costly books, and historically important documents.

Never attempt to handle paper which is humid. The mould is going to stain and be almost impossible to extract. Enable the paper in books to dry thoroughly in the sun, or put it in a sealed container with moisture-absorbing material such as silica gel or sprinkled corn-starch between pages.

When the book is dry, go outside and use a soft paintbrush or cloth to gently brush away the cover and each page from the mildew. Slide under each page a sheet of waxed paper to cover the page behind it. Dampen a clean, soft cloth with hydrogen peroxide slightly and wipe each page gently to allow it to air completely dry, before moving to the next page.

Domestic Appliances (Mould Removal)

Appliances such as washers, fridges and coffee makers that combine moisture, heat or food to feed mould need regular cleaning.

Clean washers at least regularly by running a hot water cycle with chlorine bleach (no clothing). Inspect every nook and cranny of door seals for front-load washer to make sure no mould develops that can leave mouldy smelling garments.

White distilled vinegar does a fantastic job of cleaning refrigerators and coffee makers and helps prevent the development of moulds.

Panel & Grout (Mould Removal)

Moisture in the bathroom and body soil on the surfaces create the ideal mould growth environment. You can buy a lot of industrial cleaners but chlorine bleach and water are just as good and far less costly.

Simply combine one part of the bleach with 16 parts of water (one cup of bleach with one gallon of water) and add to areas infected by the mould. Enable the solution to stay on the mouldy area before scrubbing or retiring for at least 15 minutes. Rinse with water and wipe over dry, leaving windows open until absolutely dry.

Removing moulds from inside walls, floors and tiles

If the mould is black and sticky, it may be even worse than mere unsightly. To search for structural damage the area should be opened up. Wear protective lenses, and breathing aid. Both construction materials should be bagged in plastic heavy duty bags and properly disposed of. Enable the area to thoroughly dry out and make any necessary repairs.

To clean porous surfaces such as wood and drywall, the bleach and water solution should be combined with a detergent to make it bind. Mix 1 piece of dishwashing detergent, 10 pieces of bleach and 20 pieces of water. Apply with a sponge or mop, and strive not to saturate the surfaces. Do not rinse away, and let air dry solution.4

Completely extract carpet with mould or a musty scent. Cut the carpet and the pad in tiny pieces, wearing a respirator. To avoid the spread of airborne mould spores, spray the products and underfloor with water. Cover the carpet up for disposal in thick plastic. Using a wet / dry vacuum to clean the area thoroughly and allow air to dry for several days before removing the flooring.

Outer Home Surfaces

Chlorine bleach is very useful in cleaning house siding, concrete, brick, and stone of all forms, but it is harmful to plants and lawns. Be sure to cover thick plastic sheeting on any susceptible plants.3

Mix one cup of bleached chlorine to one gallon of water. A garden sprayer, power washer, or hand-scrubbing may be used for the solution. Wear protection lenses, gloves, protective footwear and a breather still. The bleach solution can cause any form of fabric to lose colour.

Wet the mouldy areas with plain water and then the solution of bleach and water and let it work for several minutes. Then move to another place if the mould lightens. If the stains remain, clean the area and then add more water and bleach solution again. Completely allow to dry air.

Rinse with plain water over surrounding cultivated fields.

Hiring experts

If mildew infestation is caught early, the household cleaners can easily handle it.

Caution

Consider hiring a specialist Book today @ dirt2tidy.co.uk or call us at @+44 3333034281 for comprehensive mould issues. Some moulds are highly toxic and it can cause problems for anyone with mould allergies or impaired respiratory systems, even less harmful.

The rule of thumb is to call in a specialist if the mould occupies 10 or more square feet.2 Removal of large mould colonies involves exposure to heavy duty chemicals and careful handling of infested building materials. Local departments of public health can provide guidance on mould testing and can refer you to a mould remover specialist.

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