Mould, mould, mould! How to deal with mould
Picking something up and discovering that it is covered in mould is not a great feeling. So how do you deal with mould? First consideration is to understand what you are dealing with. What is mould? Mould is actually a member of a very common group of organisms called fungi (yep – like mushrooms and yeast). It is present virtually EVERYWHERE, both indoors and outdoors.
It becomes visible when the perfect conditions make themselves available. Mould grows especially well in wet or moist areas lacking adequate ventilation, throw in hot and cold temperature swings and ta-da! Mould will thrive. Some of the most common areas in the home to find mould include – include walls/ wallpaper, ceilings, bathroom tiles, carpets, insulation material and wood. Basically, anywhere that moisture can accumulate means that mould growth is a strong possibility. The danger of leaving mould alone is that it can cause health problems (particularly for people with weakened immune systems, suffering from asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions).
Working with clients in ill ventilated apartments, I’ve seen that unfortunately, dealing with mould is becoming more and more common. Sadly, it seems that modern apartment constructions are quite prone to mould issues and due care must be taken. Below are some tips to get you headed in the right direction, but if you’d like more detailed advice as to how to manage mould throughout your living space, please reach out here.
So how can you deal with mould?
Five proactive wardrobe tips to help discouraging mould growth:
1. Before hanging your clothes up in your wardrobe, or popping them in the laundry basket (exercise clothes especially) ensure that they are completely dry.
2. Allow air flow between hangers – if you have too much crammed into your wardrobe it may be time to declutter and reorganise your collection of clothing.
3. If you see the slightest bit of mould (or something smells musty and damp), wash the item! Add a splash of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to get rid of the smell.
4. Every three months, schedule a time to take everything out of your wardrobe and allow the closest to air (don’t forget to wipe down and dry your shelves before putting everything back).
5. Before storing off season items, make sure that they have been washed and are bone dry before putting them in storage (this goes for activity gear too – snow, camping, swimming gear).
Three proactive general house care tips:
- Wipe down shower walls after taking a shower.
- Use air conditioning to remove moisture from the air.
- Vent the clothes dryer to the outside of the house.
- Use exhaust fans in the kitchen, utility room and bathroom.
2. Encourage air flow
- Open windows to let outside air in, if the weather is nice.
- Use a fan, even in the winter, to move the air.
- Leave closet doors and dresser drawers open sometimes.
- Store items where they will not get damp.
- Keep some space between furniture and walls so that air can flow.
3. Keep the air dryyyyy
- Use a heater, or turn on the furnace if the house is damp.
- Use a dehumidifier.
- Use chemicals such as Silica gel to absorb moisture. Place on a closet shelf or hang in a cloth bag to absorb moisture. (TIP: Collect these from new shoes and accessories to use later)
By the way: If you’re having continuous recurring problems with mould, it’s important to rule out that it results from rising damp, poor drainage or leaks from rain or dodgy internal plumbing. If, unfortunately, any of these conditions are present, a solution can be both very expensive and time consuming.
If you’ve recently had an experience with mould and would like some decluttering and organising help, please get in touch.