Prevention is almost definitely the best cure for mould.
Mould needs moisture, organic materials, sunlight and oxygen to grow. Since everything in that list but moisture can be controlled, that’s where the key lies to preventing mould. However, there are also other procedures we can take to prevent mould, which will also be covered.
In reality, many mould outbreaks occur in our homes because of our habits, so all we need to do is learn new habits that will prevent us from creating optimum conditions for mould growth.
Many species of mould starts to grow because of humidity. One of the best ways to reduce humidity is by ventilating, particularly rooms where there is a lot of moisture, like the kitchen and bathroom. So for example, after a hot bath or shower, open the window and allow the room to ventilate.
One of the most common places for mould to grow in a house is in the bathroom, and that’s because so many people don’t open the window or run an extractor fan to allow the moisture to escape after their bath/shower.
Anti mould paint
There are a wide range of anti-mould paints available these days. They are a little more expensive than regular emulsion, but it’s worth it- because the extra you could end up paying to remove mould will cost significantly more than paying a little extra for premium anti-mould paint.
You don’t necessarily need to cover your entire home in anti-mould paint, but it is a good idea to use it in kitchens and bathrooms, or any other room that has been previously infected or is particularly prone to mould growth (e.g. where there’s naturally a lot of moisture present).
For a list of our recommend anti-mould paints, please go to our anti-mould paint page.
Install and use extractor fans
Install an extractor fan in the bathroom and also the kitchen above the cooker. They’re both pretty standard instalments these days.
The extractor fan in the bathroom should be running whenever water is being used, and then left to overrun by 20 minutes afterwards. Most extractors can be set to overrun and can be hooked up to the light switch.
In the kitchen, an extractor should be installed above the stove and used whenever cooking. If the fan vents outside of the house, then this will help. However, some fans just push the air through a filter, then back into the kitchen. If that’s the case, it’s best to open a window (it’s always good practise to open a window when cooking regardless).
Drying clothes indoors
This is one of the most common problems in homes.
Many people leave wet clothes lying around, when they should be dried immediately. Don’t leave wet clothes in a wet pile for a long time.
It’s always best to dry clothes out side on a washing line, drying them inside will not dry them as quickly and the moisture from your clothes will evaporate into the air, raising the humidity.
If you dry your clothes in a drying machine, make sure the room is well ventilated e.g. open a window.
Fix any leaks
Regularly check for water leaks in your home, and if found, fix the problem immediately. Leaking water is another one of the main reasons why moisture problems in the home occur.
The areas to check include, leaking roofs, windows, taps, pipes, showers and under the sink.
Regularly check and clean rain gutters.
Gutters often get obstructed/blocked, this is especially common with homes that are near tall tress, as the leaves cause blockages and consequently overspills and leakages, which can drip into the home.
Make sure your house has positive drainage, which means rain should drain away from your house, and not into your home e.g. the basement.
If your home is prone to mould because it’s in a naturally humid/moist location, it’s a good idea to use a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers can both prevent and help remove mould. Here’s more on using a dehumidifier to remove and prevent mould and some recommended models.
Use wall/floor tiles where you can
Use tiles over paint/wood where possible. Tiles are a lot more resistant to mould than plasterboard/walls, it’s also a lot easier to remove mould from non-porous surfaces.
PIV loft unit
While this is a costly option, it is particularly recommended for those with serious ongoing mould problems.
A PIV Loft Unit is a positive input ventilation system and condensation control unit for homes with a loft. It constantly pushes dry air into the air, raising the pressure and forcing out the damp air so that the humidity is reduced to a level where mould doesn’t grow.
Insulate cold surfaces
Insulate cold surfaces such as cold pipes. This will reduce/eliminate the condensation that can collect over time.
Check windows are properly sealed and don’t have any leaks. Mould is commonly found around windows when the caulk is cracked.
Cleaning regularly will go along way when trying to prevent mould.
Regularly wipe down all surfaces and apply a detergent for non-porous surfaces, such as your shower, bath, sink, and similar surfaces.
Mould loves dark and damp areas to grow, so allowing sunlight to enter your home will reduce the chances of mould growing. It’s best to open the curtains during the day to let natural light in.
Remove early signs of mould immediately
If you spot any mould grows, despite how big or small, you should remove the infestation immediately, even if you have to call in the professionals.
Ignoring mould or waiting until the problem manifests is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Mould can grow extremely quickly under the right conditions, and allowing that to happen means the mould is given time to cause more damage. In this case, it will be a lot more difficult to remove the mould and often more expensive.