How to Get Rid of Mould in Your Home

Posted by Dave Kotler on Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 at 9:12am.

Your Guide to Mold RemovalMould isn't just a nuisance for homeowners; it's an expensive home safety hazard that can get out of control quickly. Because it can hide in nooks and crannies throughout the home, mould remediation can quickly become complicated. Protect your health and home values by learning how to treat and prevent mould growth in your house.

Safety First

Mould and mildew are the product of too much moisture in the air. Unlike mildew, though, mould can't be killed with simple surface cleaners. When homeowners know they have mould in their homes, their first step should be to keep everyone away.

Illnesses caused by mould typically present as cold-like symptoms, so anyone with a mysterious cough or sore throat should be taken to a doctor immediately. Homeowners should take a mould swab to give the doctor a better chance of identifying the exact problem.

Common Types of Mould

Aspergillus is one of the most common moulds found in households. It may appear black on the surface but is often yellowish underneath. This mould is typically found on damp surfaces, like walls, carpets, and insulation. 

Cladosporium is another common mould that homeowners might encounter. This mould, which can be black or green, is often found on surfaces like wood, fabrics, and wallpaper. It is unique because it can grow in warm and cold conditions, so watch out for it in your air-conditioners and attics.

Commonly known as "black mould," Stachybotrys chartarum is a toxic mould with significant health risks. It thrives in damp, dark areas and is often found in places with water damage or high humidity, like basements and bathrooms. Exposure to black mould can cause severe health issues, including respiratory problems, skin irritation, and immune system suppression. In extreme cases, it can even be life-threatening.

What's The Best Home Remedy for Mould?

While professional mould remediation services are available, several natural and cost-effective home remedies can help keep mould at bay. Let's explore some of the best home remedies for tackling mould, allowing you to maintain a healthier and cleaner living environment.

Vinegar: A versatile household staple, distilled white vinegar kills over 80% of mould species. Simply pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle, apply your natural solution to the affected area, let it sit for about an hour, and then wipe it clean. The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries.

Baking soda: This gentle yet powerful mould remover can be used on various surfaces. Mix a quarter tablespoon of baking soda with water in a spray bottle, shake well, and apply it to the mouldy area. Scrub the surface with a brush, then rinse the area with water. Respray the area with the baking soda solution and let it dry – this will prevent future mould growth.

Tea tree oil: A powerful natural solution for fungus growth, tea tree oil can effectively eliminate mould. Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water in a spray bottle, and then apply the solution to the mouldy surface. Allow it to sit for an hour, then clean the area with a damp cloth.

Hydrogen peroxide: This common household disinfectant can help you tackle mould. Mix a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution with equal water in a spray bottle, apply it to the mould, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub the area thoroughly and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

Grapefruit seed extract: As a natural antimicrobial, grapefruit seed extract can inhibit mould growth. Combine 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract with two cups of water in a spray bottle, apply the solution to the mouldy area, and let it sit. There's no need to rinse or wipe the area, as the grapefruit seed extract will continue to work as a mould deterrent.

These natural cleaning solutions can effectively combat mould growth in your home and maintain a healthier living environment. Always address any underlying moisture or humidity issues to prevent mould from returning.

Call in the Pros

The standard advice for mould remediation is to hire professional help. The spores from mould can be hazardous to DIYers who may make a mistake in their ventilation strategy. In addition, mould can hide in the walls and interior components of the roof. If the homeowner fails to identify the exact cause of the mould, it will only return again and again until they do. DIYers also sometimes fail to get the proper permits or approvals from government agencies, especially concerning mould remediation. A professional typically has the experience and equipment to defeat mould the first time.

Covering the Costs

Mould remediation can be expensivestarting at $500 and going up from there. Mould is usually not covered by insurance because it might have been caused by a lack of maintenance on the homeowner's part. However, if the mould was caused by a covered reason (e.g., due to a storm damaging a pipe, etc.) and caught early enough, insurance may cover part or all of the mould removal. Homeowners are encouraged to look for mould removal companies that allow third-party retesting after they're finished to ensure all mould is gone.

Preventing Mould Growth: Proactive Measures to Keep Your Home Mould-Free

High humidity levels create a breeding ground for mould. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50%. Proper ventilation in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, can also help to reduce humidity.

Water leaks can lead to mould growth within a short period. Regularly inspect your home for signs of leaks, such as discoloration or dampness on walls, ceilings, and floors. Repair any leaks as soon as possible to minimize the risk of mould development.

Good airflow is crucial for preventing mould growth. Install exhaust fans in high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Open windows and use fans to circulate air throughout your home, especially in rooms that are prone to dampness.

Keeping Your Home Mould-Free Is Easy

Mould remediation is the only choice a homeowner has when discovering mould, especially if they are considering selling their home. The longer they wait to remove a mould issue, more than likely, the worse the situation will get. Because mould can cause chronic illness, homeowners must act swiftly to remove all mould as soon as possible.

Dave Kotler

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