All of us have encountered the typical mould in our walls at least once in our lives. Not only are these stains aesthetically unpleasing, but their spores are also silently destroying our health. There are several ways in which mould can form in various parts of our homes. The way we intervene against them or even how we can prevent them depends on their origin. That's why we've come up with a comprehensive overview of the most essential things you need to know about mould!
How does mould form?
If you've dealt with mould in your apartment, you know you are in for the long haul, with no end in sight. The constant shopping for those "guaranteed remedies" that always promise the world, but the long-term result is nowhere to be found. So let's start from the beginning, why does mould form in the first place? Why does it reappear in the same spots?
It's all about humidity and air circulation. With poor air circulation, the air can be too dry or too humid, and neither of these situations are ideal. Dry air can make us feel sick and sometimes makes it hard to breathe. In contrast, air that is too humid is conducive to the formation of mould. The optimal indoor humidity should be between 40-60%. If you find that the humidity in your room is not within this range, you can use both humidifiers and dehumidifiers as needed. The risk of mould formation increases when the humidity is above 60%. This is because there is more vapour in the room, which has nowhere to go and begins to gather in the coldest spots. It is in these areas that the mould will gradually start to form.
Risk locations in your home
Humidity in air, however, is not just something that happens out of the blue. We often cause it ourselves; routine household chores have a major impact on the humidity of our homes. If you have mould in your kitchen, it is most likely caused by cooking or baking. You can easily solve the problem by getting a good quality cooker hood that will vacuum the excess humidity outside. Another room that is probably the most susceptible to dampness is undeniably, the bathroom. When showering or even drying your laundry, a lot of steam evaporates and causes a lot of humidity. This is why it is important to ventilate regularly so that this humidity does not continue to accumulate in one place.
In other areas of your home, dampness can be caused by improper placement of the furniture in the room. If there is no gap between the walls and the furniture itself, air will stop flowing and thus start to gather and precipitate in these hidden places, and the same applies to houseplants. If you are a plant lover and your apartment is a small jungle, you need to ventilate regularly and in some cases even get a dehumidifier.
However, every house is different, and some mould can be caused by the actual construction. With the mass arrival of plastic windows, which seal the space so tightly that air has nowhere to go, the risk of mould has increased significantly. So be careful in this regard and choose good quality uPVC windows.
How can we prevent mould?
The key to tackling mould is airflow. The most effective method of prevention is therefore regular ventilation of all rooms. Ventilation should be brief but extensive, having a window open all day is not needed all that much. Sometimes you can help yourself with an ordinary fan, which simply speeds up the airflow.
In general, it is important to remove sources of excess moisture. We’ll demonstrate this with specific examples. When cooking, use a good quality cooker hood that extracts humid air. For laundry, try drying it outside to prevent moisture from accumulating inside the rooms. Watch out for home aquariums too, especially if they are in smaller rooms. In addition, focus on the placement of the furniture in the house. Find any areas that could be prone to mould. These are usually nooks and crannies that are created when you place furniture too close together, the air has nowhere to escape and stays in one place.
What can we do about the existing mould in our home?
The fight against pre-existing mould should have two phases. First of all, it is important to get rid of the mould itself. It is important to assess how much of it has managed to grow on the walls. If the infestation is not that serious yet, you can handle the fight on your own. There is a large number of anti-mould products available. Alternatively, you can try old-fashioned advice such as using lime or blue lime. Beware, however, that this is only ever a short-term solution.
When the mould has grown over your head, though, the situation will need to be dealt with more thoroughly than just drugstore products. You need to scrape the walls down to the plaster and not only around the visible mould, but at least half a metre away from the stain. The plaster must then be treated with disinfectants that will effectively get rid of the mould itself. However, before you paint the wall with new paint, don't forget to apply a base coat of primer. It is the primer that will ensure that you avoid disinfection altogether.
The second, equally important, phase of the fight against mould is undoubtedly the removal of the cause of the mould. This is the only way to achieve a lasting, high-quality solution so that you don't have to worry about when and where the stain will reappear on your wall.
If you are not well-versed and confident enough to handle such repairs in your house on your own, there is no better solution than inviting a professional to your home. Instead of traditional craftsmen, you can try using the services of Adam, which has the largest network of experienced painters in the country. They will be happy to advise you in more complicated situations than just a traditional redecoration.