Cleaning mould from our home can seem like a daunting task. Just the term "black mould" is already a bit scary. However, it is a job that cannot be avoided, moreover, if mould is not cleaned from any surface, it can worsen and affect your entire apartment, causing additional expenses and especially affecting your health and that of your family.
To avoid all this problem, Vital Building Inspection will give you some tips to clean mould from your apartment by yourself.
1. Determine what it is
Some people believe that the musty smell under the sink may be black mould, which is mould that forms in one place for a long time. However, it might just be mould. The difference between the two is that mould is a living spore, while black mould can be toxic. For example, mildew (a fungus that grows on plants or organic matter) is often thought to be mould, but it can be easily removed with bleach or another surface cleaner.
Not all black moulds are dangerous, however it is necessary to seek a professional from time to time to check the apartment. Especially if you live in districts with a high level of humidity, those that are close to the sea, for example. Now, mould does not always appear due to humidity in the environment, but also due to the wear of some internal plumbing, either from your apartment or from the neighbor, which filters water, also producing mould. Therefore, you have to be very careful in this regard and always carry out maintenance of the entire house, as well as the building.
On the other hand, you cannot always visualize mould. Sometimes we are lucky and can detect its appearance in areas like the wall of the laundry room or the bathroom, and therefore, do something about it. But, on several occasions mould is found between the walls, behind the showers, under the floor and of appliances. Places that cannot be easily reached.
2. Find the origin and stop the damage
If you detect mould on the walls or in the environment of your apartment, it is likely to be in places with high humidity condensation, such as a bathroom that does not have enough ventilation, or it may come from water seepage. If the latter is the case, we recommend that you repair the water leak before doing any mould cleaning.
Once moisture from leaking water or poor ventilation is detected, mould will seek a food source such as an insulated area, cloth, wall, or carpet to grow and cause damage.
3. Make an inspection
Hiring a professional home inspection company to determine the extent of damage may be the surest way to know how much black mould is in your apartment and how to fix this problem. An industrial hygienist will not only examine the room where the mould was found but also other rooms in the apartment to determine if it appears in other areas.
If you decide to hire a company to remove mould from your apartment, the managers will tell you what the steps are to follow. To start, they will ask you to leave your home while they do their work. If the mould problem in your home is very serious and you also want to protect the health of your family, then hiring the service of professionals is the best option. But if you decide to fix the problem yourself, go to the next step.
4. Wear protective gear
We recommend that you use protective equipment against mould spores to do this job, such as a mask, gloves, glasses, and wear clothing with long sleeves. Also, no people should be in the area during cleaning.
5. Seal the affected areas
Rooms where moisture has condensed, or rooms where mould is likely to grow, should be sealed with heavy-duty plastic bags to contain airborne spores. To remove these spores from the room, you can use a powerful fan and remove them through the room window.
6. Discard all moisture-damaged materials
If the mould was caused by water leaking from a pipe, it should be fixed before any cleaning is done. After solving that problem, you should let the area air out for a couple of days. Porous materials such as carpets, walls, or fabrics retain moisture. Therefore, we recommend that you get rid of things that show signs of mould and cannot be removed.
Mould on surfaces can be removed with detergent and water. When you're done, let the surface dry completely. If you see mould on the surface dry, spray lightly with water before cleaning to prevent mould spores from spreading through the environment.
You can also use special products to remove mould, however, it is not recommended to use high chlorine bleach to remove mould. Another option is to use natural mould removal agents such as vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.
There are many misconceptions about how to remove and prevent mould and one of them is to use bleach for this. It is said that bleach can kill mould and other bacteria, but that is not the case, because mould does not die with bleach, it only hides.
8. Clean all surfaces
To prevent mould from returning, we recommend that you thoroughly clean all surfaces in the damaged room to remove any spore residue. Then let all surfaces dry. Finally, vacuum the room, use a HEPA filter for vacuum cleaners when you do to completely remove mould spores.
9. Throw away the cleaning equipment you used
Put everything you used during the cleaning in a sturdy and tightly closed garbage bag. In it, you should also include the clothes, sponge and other materials that you used.
If mould reappears in the room after repeatedly doing the cleaning yourself, then we recommend calling a professional, because this would indicate that the cleaning you do is not enough and the problem is greater.
We hope these tips help you get rid of the mould that appears in your apartment. Remember that to prevent any problem of this type, it is always important to keep the rooms ventilated, as well as to constantly maintain your home, both in terms of cleaning and infrastructure.