It’s holiday season but unfortunately, it’s also mould season. The damp weather, combined with closed-up houses makes the perfect breeding ground for mould and mildew. If you’ve noticed your walls have been more wet than usual, and have seen dark stains around the house, it’s likely you have mould. And it’s not just unsightly to look at – mould eats into surfaces, ruins fabric and can affect our health.
An allergy to mould can develop as a result of exposure over an extended period of time and about 50 per cent of people who live in mouldy conditions will develop hay fever-like symptoms. Health conditions are made worse by mould as it can irritate your airways and aggravate asthma.
So if you’ve discovered mould in more than just the bathroom, it’s time to clean up. You don’t need to use harsh chemicals either – it’s been proven that bleach and ammonia are not effective in preventing mould.
Before you start
Sort mouldy items into non-porous (hard plastics, wood, steel), semi-porous (walls and surfaces) and super-porous (clothes, carpet, paper, furniture). Throw out anything that is super-porous and covered in mould – it’ll be hard to restore it, unless you have your carpet professionally cleaned.
For the cleaning solution, all you need is baking soda.
1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of baking soda into water and spray onto surface.
2. Let it sit, then scrub and wipe with a damp cloth.
3. Wipe areas with dry microfibre cloth when finished
Of course the best solution is prevention. Here’s some tips:
1. Invest in a dehumidifier for damp areas – these can be bought from cheap stores for around $2. You’ll be amazed how much moisture they will gather.
2. Fix any leaks in a room or gaps in floor boards.
3. Let in fresh air and sunlight – open some windows even in colder months.
4. Keep clothes and other fabrics dry – don’t leave on the line all week in the rain.