Are you looking for tips on how to get rid of mould and mildew? Learn how to clean mould – and keep it from coming back.
Mould can be very toxic to some people, especially the elderly, the very young and people with compromised immune systems. The mould can give off toxic spores and vapours that can cause allergic reactions, asthma and symptoms like the ‘flu. Getting rid of mould in your home takes time and you probably won’t be using a mould killer you picked up at the supermarket you will need the right chemicals to get it done right.
It is important to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself from mould and its spores. You need this to protect your clothes and your body from spores of the mould. If the mould is small in area, less than 10cm by 10cm, a healthy person may not require PPE other than that required to handle the chemical product.
Use a chemical that is recommended for killing mould (see the chart below).
The clean-up process of a large patch of mould will produce a lot of debris in the room and this must be vacuumed up thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner that has a high-filtration HEPA filter attached. Dead mould spores will disperse easily and widely, and they are just as toxic as live mould, so they need to be collected from every surface to prevent re-infection.
Mould removal procedure:
Work out what type of surface the mould is growing on, the type of surface will affect whether treatment may or may not work and the best chemical to choose.
Some very absorbent surfaces, such as paper, cardboard, carpet, plaster carpet, rugs, clothing and leather may be so badly affected that they can’t be restored effectively. These items may need to be thrown away.
Semi-porous surfaces should respond to treatment in most cases.
Non-porous surfaces such as glass and hard plastics will normally respond well.
Grout and silicone sealants are their own category: mould can attack grout or silicone sealants especially around showers. When the mould grows, it develops hyphae, or roots, which penetrate right into the bulk of the grout or silicone. The cleaning process will remove the mould from the surface, but not from inside the sealant, so it can be impossible to treat these effectively. In such cases, the only way to completely remove is to cut out and replace the grout or silicone.
Vacuum up the mould
Use the vacuum cleaner plus HEPA filter to remove as much mould as possible if it is relatively dry (if you dont have a HEPA filtered vacuum DO NOT use a standard vacuum skip this step also). If it is wet or very damp, skip this step and go to Step 3.
Treat the mould
Make up a solution of the recommended chemical (see table below) and place equal amounts in 3 buckets.
Take a microfibre cloth, dip it in the first bucket and wipe the solution all over the mould. Work the cloth well into the surface to try and reach into all the little crevices where the mould can be found. A nylon brush may be useful for this on rough surfaces.
That same cloth can be rinsed in the second bucket and then in the third bucket (to prevent cross-contamination) before being dipped back in the first bucket for another dose of clean solution.
Repeat until the whole area has been scrubbed down. Leave the surface wet for the recommended dwell-time, if any.
The microfibre cloths can be laundered on a hot cycle in the washing machine in a solution of 4 parts of vinegar plus one part of water, or, using the chemical recommended below.
If any discoloured streaks remain, these can be removed using Agar Bleach.
Rinse the surface with clean water and air it to dry it out promptly.
Chemical Table :
|Surface||Product to use|
|Textiles, such as seats in a lecture theatre, or carpet.||Spray the mould with Powerquat solution at 1 in 40, leaving the solution in contact for at least 10 minutes and working it in to the fabric with a brush or scraper before extracting it out with clean water.
When they have dried again, spray the seats or carpet with Everfresh at 1 in 10 and do not extract, just let it dry.
This will leave a film of mould-resistant preservative on the fabric.
|Showers, bathroom tiles, wash-basins, sinks, toilets, paintwork in bathrooms||Use Shower Star (Green Range)
For heavy build-ups, use 50:50 Shower Star plus water for the initial clean. Allow a few minutes to attack mould and soap scum, then scrub and rinse off – OR – just spray the foam on and leave it.
If it is used every day, Shower Star can be diluted to 1:10.
Do not use on terrazzo or marble shower bases.
|Showers and wall tiles made of marble or limestone||Use WipeAway, followed by Bleach.|
|Hard surfaces, floors and paintwork||Use Chloradet.
Make up a 1 in 20 solution of CHLORADET. (This is 50mls of CHLORADET per litre of water).
|Glass, windows and mirrors||Use Flash Dry neat or 65% Isopropyl Alcohol in water.|
|Metals and painted metal||Use Bionil.
Dilute Bionil to 1 in 25 with water
Prevention of further attack
The best way to prevent the growth of mould is to remove the source of the moisture in future, if possible!
Ensure that roofs and water pipes don’t leak.
Use exhaust fans to move humid air away to the outside.
Have good ventilation in the building. Poor Ventilation is one of the main reasons homes are vulnerable to mould growth.
Regular vacuum cleaning and dusting will remove the organic matter that mould needs to thrive.