What Causes Mould in My House?
Condensation (and mould) is caused by the following factors:
- Wet and humid weather
- Lack of proper home heating
- Every tap in your house
- Your bath
- Your shower especially
- Open fires and wood burners
- Your BREATH alone produces a ton of moisture
The Dangers of Mould
Mould is a fungus that breeds by sending out airborne spores and can grow anywhere that is warm and damp. Which usually means your bathroom and loft spaces where moisture builds up faster than it can leave. But, terrifyingly, your lungs are just the right dampness and temperature for a microscopic spore to take up root.
Mould in My House, is it Dangerous to My Health?
Even if you don’t have the allergies and weak lungs that this fungus can trigger, you can develop them just by being exposed to mould. And that’s advice from the NHS article: can damp and mould affect my health? We’ll save you some time, the answer is a big YES. “Mould can also cause asthma attacks”. As for babies and children, it’s extra important to know this information.
Black mould can cause and agitate:
- Pleurisy (lung problems, coughing, fever)
- Allergic reactions
- Other skin and lung conditions
Can Mould Damage My House?
Is your house more important than your health? No. But your home affects your health. And mould can affect your home, a lot. Even if you’re as healthy as can be, run your own gym, and eat nothing but health foods, mould can still run rampant around your house in the same way a cancer spreads around the body.
Mould in a house can cause:
- Stained walls
- Ruined decoration
- Mould spreading to clothes and fabrics
- Ruined furniture
- Softened floorboards (squeaky floors)
- Weakened structural strength
- Medical harm for everyone living in it
- Eviction by a landlord
- Your house being condemned by the local council
How to Prevent Mould and How to Get Rid of Mould
Clearly, you need to know how to get rid of mould and how to get rid of damp. Not just because having mould on your ceiling, or having mould on your walls, or even having mould around your window is a disgusting sight, but because mould spores are a problem that only gets worse for you. But knowing how to stop mould and how to get rid of damp is so easy. Just see below.
How to Prevent Mould
You now know that mould is caused by condensation, and that even your breath is providing a large amount of moisture which condenses and becomes a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Now you need to know the basic habits of mould prevention.
- Dry clothes outside, because drying clothes inside can be harmful and releases a ton of moisture into your house
- Open your bathroom window and keep the door closed after showering or bathing to let the entire roomful of moisture escape
- Make sure your radiator is hot enough to prevent mould with our BTU calculator (see below)
- Check to see if your bathroom extractor fan (which you should have) is working and clean
- Get rid of mould spores by cleaning your carpets, a nice hiding spot for bacteria
- Mould prevention paint is great for places that are prone to damp and moisture
- Ensure all rooms have adequate circulation
- If all else fails, invest in a dehumidifier (which will only manage the symptoms of the problem, not the cause)
Note: Is there Mould Around Your Windows? It May be Your Radiator...
Before we show you how to get rid of mould, it’s important to address the issue of your radiator. If you have mould around your windows then it’s very likely that your radiator is to blame.
We mentioned opening windows to let moisture leave your home. That is great advice as long as your radiator is also the proper BTU for your room -- it’s great advice even if your radiator isn’t strong enough. But if your radiator isn’t warming the room like it should be, then the coldest part of the room is only going to trap moisture in the form of liquid, rather than keeping it in a gassy form to leave your house properly.
Let’s repeat that. Your radiator needs to be able to keep airborne moisture in a gassy form. Otherwise it will collect at the coldest part of your room - your windows.
- Use our BTU calculator to find the best radiator BTU for your room
- Browse our list of best radiators for the bathroom
- (Optional) Want to heat your bathroom even in summer? Cheaply? Check out our dual fuel radiator article for more information.
How to Get Rid of Mould
Now that you know exactly how to prevent mould it’s time to learn how to get rid of mould too. Because no matter how much of the best anti-mould paint you use, all it takes is a few days of the right conditions to get mildew on walls and windows.
- Bleach is all you need if you neither own nor want to buy specialised cleaning sprays and paints. If using bleach, mix 4 parts of water with 1 part bleach
- Anti-bacterial sprays will provide the same amount of cleaning as bleach without the stain-removing properties. Bleach doesn’t come with a spray pump as standard though, whereas anti-bacterial spray obviously does
- Mould and mildew sprays are great for removing mould and often clean it away like magic, revealing the old surface beneath with a single wipe
- Heavy duty specialist cleaning chemicals will do the best job, but you must follow the instructions closely or risk stripping away more than just mould
- Prepare your mould removing bleach solution or grab your anti-mould spray
- You’ll also need a stiff brush, a bucket of water with cloth, and another cloth for drying
- (Optional) If you’ll be beneath the mould, wear a facemask. Mould falling into your mouth is gross
- Apply your solution to the affected areas (including a few inches around visible mould to kill any mould not yet visible)
- Scrub it firmly with a strong brush
- Wait for however long the instructions indicate (or just a few minutes)
- Rinse thoroughly
- Dry completely
Extra mould fighting tips:
- Treat mould around windows by using a really stiff brush to reach into gaps and remove deep mould from the hard surface of the window and inner wall
- Get rid of mould on walls by using a paint roller since mouldy walls usually need less scrubbing, are flat, and the damp is often more spread out here
- Bathroom mould is much more likely to be on the ceiling, around windows or in the grout of your tiles, but don’t forget to check less obvious places like inside bathroom furniture
- Mould on carpet is a pain and often it’s too late to save the carpet. Machine or hand wash it in a bath because you’ll never get mould out of a carpet with a brush, or perhaps call in the professionals
- Cover moisture-prone surfaces with mould prevention paint, rather than normal paint
Clearly prevention is the answer, so bookmark this article (CTRL+B on windows, CMD+B on mac, usually). But sometimes all the prevention in the world won’t keep the mould away. Whether you’ve already got black mould growing, or are just an intelligent homeowner, you now have all the information necessary to get rid of mould and fight back against the bacteria.
- Mould is caused by condensation
- Condensation builds up when moisture sticks around
- Moisture comes from fixtures like your shower and your bath, as well as small things like your breath (which produces a surprising amount of moisture)
- Direct moisture outside using windows, extractor fans -- and dehumidifiers if desperate
- Keep your home adequately heated with a decent (and powerful enough) radiator
- If mould occurs, clean it quickly using our above tips, and try to find the cause rather than just covering the mould up with paint
And there you go, the complete guide on how to get rid of mould around your windows, from your walls, from your lungs, and from your life.