Treating mould in your home

Treating mould in your home

Sep 2016

Treating mould in your home

Mould is a fungal growth occurring typically in moist warm conditions. It grows in homes under the right conditions of dampness, darkness and poor ventilation e.g. bathrooms or kitchens, cluttered storage or basement areas.

How to prevent mould growing

The most effective way to prevent mould is to eliminate moisture by controlling humidity inside your home and regular cleaning. 

There are a number of steps to take that will prevent mould growing in your home.

  • Open windows and doors to ventilate the home and reduce the humidity level.
  • Let the sun into your home by opening blinds and curtains during the day.
  • Wipe away any moisture on your windows and walls to keep the inside of your home dry.
  • Don’t have too many indoor plants.
  • Dry your clothes and shoes before you put them away.
  • If you use a portable heater (kerosene or un-flued gas heater), open curtains and blinds during the day. Also open windows and doors at some stage so that air can flow through the room.

Note: kerosene heaters used indoors need an adequate supply of fresh air to prevent the build up of noxious gases.  Un-flued gas heaters also need ventilation to remove particulate matter and moisture released by the burning of the gas.

  • If you use a clothes drier with a vent on the front, open a window so that moisture doesn’t build up on the walls and ceilings
  • When you take a hot bath or shower, run the exhaust fan to prevent build up of moisture on the ceiling and walls. Open the bathroom windows afterwards to allow the moisture to escape. Also regularly wipe down the tiles to make sure you clean up soap scum on which mould feeds.
  • Some types of cooking generate a large amount of steam. Run the exhaust or range-hood fan to prevent the build up of steam indoors. Also open the windows where possible.

How to remove mould

Mould removal is primarily a cleaning process. 

Regular cleaning by vacuuming, dusting and cleaning kitchens and bathrooms helps prevent mould. The earlier you remove the mould from walls and windows, the easier it is to keep it under control. It is much harder to remove mould once it takes hold.

Initially you should use a mild detergent like sugar soap and micro-fibre cloth to clean if you need to purchase a product.

Do not use high priced mould removers as the chlorines and bleaches are hazardous if used improperly.

Handy Tip

If initial cleaning does not work, it is possible to remove mould with vinegar (white) and water solution using a three bucket method.

  • First bucket mix 80% white vinegar to 20% water,
  • Second bucket mix 40% white vinegar to 60% water and;
  • Third bucket 100% water;

Use a micro-fibre cloth, dip it into bucket one then clean a patch of mould.  Rinse the cloth in bucket two and again in bucket three to ensure cross contamination does not occur. Re-start the process again on another patch of mould.

If mould cannot be removed using the vinegar method above, then cleaning with bleach or a commercial product is required.

  • Wash off the mould using bleach mixed with three parts water or a commercial product.
  • Make sure you use a clean sponge or cloth to wash off the mould.
  • Remember to protect your skin, eyes and clothes from the bleach.
  • You should also open the windows so there is plenty of fresh air while using the bleach.
  • Always read and follow the directions on the packet on how to use the product.

Remember do not dry brush the mouldy area as this could release spores into the air which can spread the mould further as well as cause an allergic reaction in some people.

If a room needs to be repainted, please call your local office.

Are all your questions answered?

For more information call the Housing Contact Centre on 1800 422 322, visit www.housing.nsw.gov.au, or visit your local FACS office.

Translation service

If you need help with interpreting or translation because English is not your first language, phone the All Graduates Translating and Interpreting Service on 1300 652 488. They will phone the housing organisation and interpret for you for free.

إذا كنت بحاجة للمساعدة في الترجمة الشفهية أو الترجمة لأن اللغة الإنجليزية ليست لغتك الأولى، اتصل بشركة "أول جراديويتس" All Graduates على الرقم 1300 652 488.

如果你的母語不是英語,需要口譯或筆譯幫助,請致電All Graduates,電話號碼:1300 652 488。

Nếu quý vị cần hỗ trợ biên dịch hoặc phiên dịch vì tiếng Anh không phải là ngôn ngữ chính của quý vị, vui lòng gọi All Graduates theo số 1300 652 488.