Black mould is a huge issue in many homes. Here we look at the problem – how to identify it and clean it using various solutions.
Black mould is a problem in a lot of homes and it can be a real issue in terms of the visual impact, the damage it does to the property, and the effects in can have on the health of those living with it. Commonly black mould is found in bathrooms and in the corners of rooms, but it can grow anywhere.
Before you even attempt to clean away your black mould, you need to think about what you’re going to do after you have cleaned it to stop it coming back again. Cleaning it only masks an underlying problem and doesn’t solve it. You have to basically give it an inhospitable environment to grow in, so that it doesn’t grow back. It loves humidity and damp and thrives in bathrooms. There are lots of ways to avoid black mould, which might just be opening a window or two more often, or it might involve more structural work depending on your reason for having it. We recommend doing further research into why black mould occurs and how to stop it growing to ensure you get to the bottom of the problem.
In the meantime….
You are most likely to find black mould in the bathroom because that is the most moist room in the home. Sometimes it can be found in bedrooms or around windows in the home, and sometimes you can even find it low to the ground behind cupboards or other furniture. Most people see it first on the grout in their wall tiles because this is the most common place you will find it. Bathrooms really are a haven for black mould, which is why you usually find it here first.
When it is around windows it is because of the condensation problems. The moisture goes to the window because it is the coldest surface in the room and eventually, as the moisture drips down and is around that area, mould grows.
Black mould on the ceiling is a sign that the mould has become quite bad and something needs to be done ASAP. When you see it on your bathroom ceiling it should give you an indication that the levels of condensation in the room are problematic. Occasionally the cause can be related to insulation issues, but a builder would need to identify this as the cause.
Mould will usually go away and stay away when a house is redecorated, as any porous surfaces will be removed, so the mould won’t have anything to stick to. You may also want to consider some black mould cleaning products which are readily available in supermarkets.
Safety Tip – If you do want to use a cleaning product we recommend always wearing a mask for safety, as spores are released and can be dangerous, especially if you have breathing problems. The cleaning agents can often be strong as well so you will want to avoid breathing those in.
Bleach – Bleach is actually a very cheap and easy way to clean black mould. Buy high quality bleach though as the cheap stuff won’t work. Mix one part bleach to four parts water and scrub the surface. We do not recommend using this on painted surfaces as it will bring the paint off. You may need to use the solution regularly to see a result, so this is not the quickest solution.
Supermarket Cleaning Products – There are loads of mould and mildew cleaners available in the supermarket which is great for general maintenance. The bleach in these products is particularly great at dealing with black mould on wall tile grout, but it doesn’t work on all types of black mould. Again we don’t recommend using it on painted surfaces as it could damage the paint.
Specialist Products – There are specialist products you can use to remove black mould. These products are extremely strong and it is not recommended you use these without following the manufacturer’s advice in full. The products aren’t very easy to find in general shops because of their strength, so it may be worth hiring a professional cleaner for a one off job using professional strength products.
Anti-Bacterial Products – Anti-bacterial products are effective at killing mould, but they don’t deal with the staining. So whilst they are good to use in between deciding how to deal with your black mould, they aren’t going to remove the stains between your wall tiles.
Black mould is much easier to remove from tile grout and other sealed surfaces than from porous surfaces like drywall, carpets and concrete. With surfaces like this you must have a focus on ensuring there is no damp causing the mould, otherwise it will return and the damp will be causing structural damage to your property. It is worth considering throwing out items that are affected by black mould if possible, because it is easier to throw out carpet, chairs or curtains affected by black mould than it is to clean them. Because these surfaces may be extensively damaged by bleach, it is recommended you consider killing the mould then redecorating over it (as long as any long term damp or condensation issues are dealt with). You could also look up specific instructions related to the item or product you want to clean.
It is a great idea to redecorate areas that have been affected by black mould. Even a small amount of mould on tile grout can ruin the overall look of the entire wall of beautiful porcelain tiles. If you think you might have a problem with damp or condensation, consider consulting an expert so that the issue can be dealt with as soon as possible, helping you avoid bigger mould problems in the future which can affect your home, the items within your home and the people within your home.