Mould on the ceiling is not only unsightly, it can cause structural damage to your home and negatively impact your health if left untreated.
Whether it be on the bathroom ceiling or out the back in the garage, mould is not something that should be taken lightly, and the best cause of action is to get rid of it as fast as you can.
Tackling a case of mould in the home requires some knowledge so that you effectively get to the root of the problem, eliminate the mould and prevent it from re-appearing. Here’s a helpful guide on what to do next once you’ve spotted mould growth on the ceiling.
What is Mould?
The first thing you could be wondering is what exactly is mould and why is it that bad? Well mould is a type of fungus that tends to grow in high humidity places, typically on walls and ceilings (and occasionally the fruits and loaves of bread that have stayed out too long).
These high humidity places where mould can appear are most commonly in the kitchen, bathroom, garage and even the window frame, as these places are where water leaks and poor ventilation are found.
Mould is talked about in such urgency because of the detriment it can have on your health. Due to the mould spores of the fungus spreading in the air, your living space can be contaminated without you even knowing.
Exposure to mould can lead to a variety of issues, most notably;
- Skin irritation
- Breathing issues and other respiratory problems
- Chronic conditions (Asthma, Rhinitis)
For more information on what mould is and how it presents, you can read about it here.
There are various stages of mould with vast differences in severity. The first step is to determine the extent of mould damage as this will influence what action to take- in some cases you will be able to clean it up yourself but later stages of mould that cover a substantial area may require professional help.
Mould with a more brown/greenish discolouration is often considered mild, leading to sneezing, itchy skin and more.
Mould that is black in colour however, is the one you should be most aware of. Black mould is considered toxic for humans, and while the danger of moulds cannot be determined purely on colour, it is best to consider hiring professional mould removalists for these types of moulds.
Upon discovering mould, it’s important to identify what is causing the mould to appear and resolving that issue prior to beginning the cleaning process, as cleaning an area that will only get mouldy again is redundant.
Why is there Mould and how do I prevent it?
The appearance of mould can be a sign of numerous things. Most commonly, mould will emerge due to;
- Lack of adequate ventilation
- Plumbing issues
- Leaks resulting in dampness building
- Prolonged condensation
- Heat from cooking surrounding the area
To prevent mould from appearing due to the aforementioned issues, its best to fix these issues before they build up.
Through regular inspections of pipes and potential roof leaks, insulation and ventilation checks, as well as regular cleaning of high humidity areas, you can prevent the mould from appearing in the first place, as well as halting the spread of already present mould.
Now that the mould has been identified and you’ve resolved what caused it to emerge in the first place, it’s time to rid yourself of this irritable fungus and remove mould before it spreads further.
Mould is stubborn, so repeated cleaning on the affected area is necessary to eliminate it. Basic cleaning products and cleaning solutions are needed to tackle this beast (i.e., Rubber gloves, masks, bucket of water, spray bottle, sponge etc.).
The key ingredient of the cleaning process however is bleach, both deadly to the mould and yourself if you’re not careful.
Pouring bleach into a spray bottle and spraying all mouldy areas is the best way to start, following up by a thorough scrub with a sponge or heavy-duty wash cloth in the areas with the most build-up. Bleach will eradicate the toxins but also cause some of its own to linger in the air. Ensure you open all windows in the area and let the bleach do its job.
Alternative cleaning methods are also available should you choose to not use bleach. White vinegar, bicarb (baking soda), essential oils and many other products can be very effective when used together with parts water. Adequate air flow utilising a dehumidifier is also a great idea to implement.
For an eco-friendlier mould removal method, have a read of this guide on how to produce a DIY product in your home.
Post Cleaning Process
Once you’ve got your hands dirty and are beginning to see progress, ensure you repeat the process a handful of times, as you don’t want your hard work to go to waste.
To prevent a further spread in the future, consider scraping the old paint off the walls and repainting your walls in some new, anti-mould paint.