Ways to Manage Mould

There are such tiny little black spots, yet they can cause health problems and be a real challenge to remove.

Mould is actually a type of fungus that produce microscope seeds called spores.

Breathing in those spores can cause health problems for some people. While most people are unlikely to be affected by mould, the risks are higher for people who have conditions such as asthma or lung disease, chronic disease such as diabetes, or low immunity.

  • Health problems can include:
  • respiratory infections
  • irritation to the nose, eyes and throat
  • skin rashes
  • hypersensitivity pneumonitis

How to manage mould

If you come across mould at work, treat it as a safety hazard. Identify the risk, assess the risk, control the risk and then review. Remember to always wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when dealing with mould.

If you have mould at home, try to remove it as soon as it appears. Remember, unless you remove the cause of the problem, it will keep coming back.

Recommended process to remove mould:

  • For routine clean-up of mouldy surfaces, use mild detergent or vinegar diluted in water solution (4 parts vinegar to 1 part water).
  • If the mould is not readily removed and the item cannot be discarded, use diluted bleach solution (250mls of bleach in 4 litres of water or half a pint of bleach in 1 gallon of water) to clean the surface. When using bleach, protective equipment is recommended: PVC or nitrate rubber gloves; safety glasses; and safety shoes. Make sure the area is well-ventilated while you are cleaning with bleach.
  • Ensure the surface is dried completely once cleaned.
  • Absorbent materials, such as carpet may need to be professionally cleaned or replaced if they are contaminated with mould.

How to reduce the risk of mould

Mould loves moisture, so the best way to reduce mould is to keep your rooms ventilated and dry as much as possible.

1. Maintain proper ventilation

  • Turn on exhaust fans, particularly when bathing, showering, cooking, doing laundry and drying clothes.
  • Open windows when weather permits, to improve cross ventilation.

2. Reduce humidity

  • Limit the use of humidifiers.
  • Limit the number of fish tanks and indoor plants.
  • Limit use of unflued gas heaters

3. Control moisture and dampness

  • Repair all water leaks and plumbing problems, for example, burst water pipes, leaking roof or blocked rain gutters.