‘Contain it’: Crucial reason why you should never wipe black mould

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The Home Depot reveals simple ways to remove mould

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Finding mould in your home doesn’t always indicate an expensive issue with your property, but it should be contained as soon as you notice it. According to AXA Insurance, black mould is among the most common type of mould found on windowsills and walls, as it grows in damp areas with high humidity levels. While it is usually harmless, leaving it to spread can be hazardous in some cases, though one expert warned against trying to physically remove it as a first response.

Mould and mildew can appear on almost any damp surface in the house, though it is most commonly found on windowsills, walls, ceilings and washing machine seals.

Even warm, well-looked-after properties can experience mould growth, especially in the colder months when heavy rain and chilling temperatures are a daily occurrence.

According to Leslie Andersen of restoration company Paul Davis, black mould grows in areas that are “consistently wet”, and will form slowly over time.

While this can be frustrating, it does make it easier to prevent before the problem worsens.

How to remove household mould

When disturbed, black mould known as Stachybotrys releases mycotoxins which can irritate the nose, eyes, and lungs.

Miss Anderson said: “People wipe it or they touch it, and they start sneezing, they cough, they get runny eyes – it’s because the mould spores are off-gassing to make you stop bothering it.”

For this reason, it is best to avoid wiping or spraying the mould patches with harsh chemicals to avoid making it worse.

Instead, Leslie recommended that the “best thing to do is contain it”.

To do this, cover the area with a plastic bag or cloth and secure it around the outer edge of the affected area.

Tape it down to the surface while making sure that it doesn’t touch the spores.

Leslie noted that for this method to be effective, you should always keep window vents, air conditioning and heating vents closed to prevent the spores from being “pulled into” other rooms.

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Once the mould has been contained, call in professional help to remove the growth and ventilate the room thoroughly to remove any lingering spores.

In most cases, black mould repairs include two phases: removing the areas where mould is growing, which usually means cutting out and replacing drywall or other materials and finding the source of the water that’s causing the mould.

Once the problem has been treated, the next step is to prevent it from becoming an issue in the future.

This is very easy to do and is beneficial for your whole house – even in areas unaffected by black or green mould.

How to prevent household mould

Though it’s not always easy to keep your home consistently warm as energy bills soar, balancing the environment will work to prevent unwanted bacterial growth.

To keep spores at bay, AXA Insurance recommended:

  • Letting plenty of light into your home – keep curtains open to allow natural light and fresh air to enter the room
  • Keep air moisture to a minimum – dry any condensation that may be gathering on your walls, ceiling to windowsills
  • Use dehumidifiers in moisture-rich rooms
  • Keep your bathroom and kitchen door shut tightly
  • Keep windows are open while cooking
  • Clean, dust and hoover regularly
  • Clean your wooden surfaces, wash fabrics, and replace anything made from cardboard
  • Change your shower curtains regularly to help eliminate dormant spores

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