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Identifying Household Mould and Mildew

July 5, 2018 by Chris Chapman

Mould and mildew are unpleasant things to have around the home and can creep up on you without you realising there’s a problem. They cause unsightly patches wherever they grow, a foul odour, and can spread disease quite easily around your home. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to know what to look out for so you can prevent it from causing you grief. But what exactly are mould and mildew, and why do they form? More importantly, how do you get rid of them? It’s not difficult but it is important, so read to find out!

What’s the Difference Between Mould and Mildew?

mould and mildew

Mould and mildew can even grow behind wallpaper

There are a lot of similarities between mildew and mould. Mildew is actually just a specific type of mould, so both mildew and mould are types of fungi. They also tend to form under similar conditions; hot, humid rooms with a lot of bacteria on the walls. This means bathrooms and south-facing rooms are the most likely places you’ll find mould or mildew.

Mildew is usually a greyish-white, powdery pattern that forms on walls, and while it’s unsightly and can cause a musty stench around the affected area, it isn’t usually harmful.

Mould, on the other hand, comes in many forms. It can be white, greenish-blue, black, red – virtually any colour depending on the mould. Mould will also usually have a furry appearance, and also causes any room to have an unsightly, unhygienic appearance and a foul stench. The real problems mould causes are to your health; it can cause allergic reactions, disease, and even breathing issues!

Preventing Mould and Mildew

Water damage can encourage mould to grow

As with many things, prevention is the most effective treatment for mould and mildew. All you need to remember are the four things that any mould – including mildew – needs to survive; air, water, food, and warmth. Take just one of these things away and the mould won’t grow.

Keeping your rooms cool enough to discourage mould growth is almost impossible (it needs to be below 5 degrees Celsius), and you can’t exactly keep the air out of the room either! In addition, mould can feed on a huge range of materials, from wood to wallpaper, so it’s tricky to cut off its food source, too. That leaves just one thing you can control – water.

Make sure your rooms are well-ventilated so that the walls can dry off properly. This is especially important in bathrooms, and it’s advisable you open a window every time you get a bath or shower. If possible, you can look at getting an extractor fan fitted to suck steam out of your bathroom. You should also try and ventilate small rooms, especially if you spend a lot of time in them, with open doors and windows wherever possible as the accumulated moisture from your body and breath can build up surprisingly quickly. Poor air quality will also encourage mould and mildew to form, so if you live in a heavily polluted area like London, an air purifier is always a wise investment!

It’s wise to keep some Mould and Mildew Remover around the house even if you don’t have mould or mildew as you can use it to clean your walls and prevent the fungus from taking hold in the first place!

Symptoms of Mould and Mildew

allergic woman

Mould and mildew can cause allergic reactions, flu-like symptoms, and worse

Mildew is usually easy to spot. It’ll start appearing in small, grey-white patches, along with a trademark musty stench. Mildew isn’t as harmful as other kinds of mould but you may still suffer from an allergic reaction to it and experience itchy skin, a blocked nose, and a slight temperature.

Mould is much more serious, mainly because it’s much more difficult to get rid of. Mould infestations can often start behind the surface of your walls, so the first thing you might notice is a foul odour coming from your bathroom or other room. When the mould is visible, it may only look like a smudge of dirt at first, so it’s worth checking out any suspicious new marks on your walls. Eventually, mould will begin to spread and become fuzzy in its appearance, although the colour of this fuzz will be different depending on the type of mould it is. Some types of mould can cause breathing problems, bleeding in the lungs, and serious flu-like symptoms, so don’t delay in taking care of it! If you notice you’re having any of these symptoms that don’t go away, check out your bedroom and bathroom for mould.

How to Clean Mildew from Your Walls

Mildew is much easier to deal with than other types of mould as it only lives on the surface of a material and won’t infest inside it. If you catch it early enough, you may be able to simply wipe it away with a cloth and some soapy water. More serious mildew infestations can be taken care of with some Mould and Mildew Remover. Simply spray the solution on the affected area, leave it for 10-20 minutes to work its magic, and use a wet sponge to clean it off.

How to Clean Mould from Your Walls

mould and mildew remover

Mould and Mildew Remover

Mould is a little tougher to deal with, but it’s still possible with some Mould and Mildew Remover. Before doing anything, make sure you’re protected with some goggles and a dust mask – the last thing you want is to breathe some mould spores in! Apply the Mould and Mildew Remover to your wall and leave it for around 20 minutes before sponging it off. If the results aren’t to your liking, just wait half an hour, then repeat this process. After this, feel your wall to make sure the mould hasn’t weakened it or rotted it away. This shouldn’t be the case if you caught the mould early enough, but if you think the mould is deeply infested in your wall, then you may need to call a professional.



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