Health Risks of Mould in Your Home
August 28, 2013
By Sarah Schwager
Health Risks of Mould in Your Home
Mould and mildew are rampant in many houses across Australia. Even when mould isn't immediately visible on walls and ceilings, it can be hiding in central heating systems or in wall cavities.

Black mould, damp and mildew can be incredibly dangerous to your health, causing allergies, asthma and other breathing problems, sickness, and even permanent lung damage.

If you or members of your household have begun to suffer from allergies or asthma; regular sickness such as colds and chest infections; coughing, sneezing or itchy eyes; or even fatigue or depression, you might want to look at a mould removal method.

Mould Removal Products are Almost as Dangerous as Mould Itself

Part of the problem with removing mould is that the products sold to remove the mould are almost as harmful as the mould itself. Mould removal products include chemicals that are incredibly toxic, and in order to safely remove mould with these products, rubber gloves, masks and safety goggles must be worn and the area must be well ventilated.

You can always employ a professional to remove the mould for you, however the risks are still great for that person, and you also have the lingering chemicals in your house. Many mould removal cleaning agents are highly toxic to use indoors.

Ammonia and bleach are other products that can be used to remove mould however they are also toxic and not appropriate for every surface. While bleach might be good at killing mould spores it has a hard time getting to the roots of the mould. Never mix ammonia and bleach together as they will release toxic chloramine fumes.

How to Remove Mould Naturally

Having recently moved into a new house with a bathroom that was covered in mould, possibly even black mould, I decided to immediately investigate mould removal methods. While the idea was to paint the bathroom with a mould resistant paint, the paint will only help prevent new mould spurs from occurring, it won't kill the mould that is already present. It won't be long before you see mould creeping through the paint.

In order to properly remove mould doesn't mean you have to use toxic chemicals. There are many natural products that are just as effective if not more effective at killing mould, such as white vinegar, tea tree oil and baking soda.

When removing mould, make sure you wear gloves, protective eye goggles and a respirator as mould particles can enter your eyes, mouth and nose and cause health problems. Mould removal methods can take the better part of a day or a couple of days depending on the size of the space you are working with so make sure you have a sturdy ladder and take frequent breaks.

My Recipe for Removing Mould Naturally

Faced with walls of mould and a determination to kill it all as soon as possible, I investigated the best natural methods to get rid of the mould. And that was how I came up with this natural and chemical-free recipe for removing mould.

1. In a bowl I mixed half vinegar with half water.
2. I then added 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Be careful to mix slowly as this can foam.
3. I then added 10 drops of tea tree oil partly for its antibacterial and mould removal properties but largely to overpower the smell of the vinegar.
4. I then poured the solution into a spray bottle and sprayed all the walls and roof of the bathroom (using the mist setting on the spray bottle).
5. I let this set on the walls for a few hours to thoroughly kill the mould.
6. Using a scrubbing brush I scrubbed every surface of the bathroom to help loosen the particles.
7. I then wiped every surface clean with a damp cloth, frequently rinsing the cloth.
8. After allowing the walls to dry, I again sprayed every surface and left it there without washing it away in order to prevent further mould from appearing.

It is also incredibly important to remove the source of the moisture that is causing the mould to grow in the first place. If you do not remove the moisture source or ventilation problem then the mould will reappear within a few months and you will have to repeat this tiring process again!

In my case, it was a situation of a poorly functioning fan in the bathroom, which was so clogged with dust that the air was not getting through. I removed the fan and thoroughly cleaned the case, the fan and inside the crevice of all dust to hopefully prevent moisture from forming on the walls and ceiling.

For more natural mould removal methods and recipes and for more tips on how to remove mould naturally, check out this article entitled 5 Natural Methods for Removing Mould.
"Symptoms of mould exposure include allergies, asthma, regular sickness such as colds and chest infections, coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, lung damage, tiredness and depression"