Mould is a big problem during winter in Australia and also during heavy rainfall and floods. Winter rainfall and darkness contribute to the growth of mould indoors, and it’s a huge health risk at home to yourself and your family. Therefore, it’s very important to know how to kill mould permanently to protect your health and home.
You read a lot of tips and tricks to remove mould from your environment, but to really kill mould permanently you need to know what causes it to grow in the first place.
What is mould?
Mould is a fungi – it requires the presence of considerable moisture for growth. It happens when the humidity levels are about 70% or more. You’ll notice it most obviously when there is condensation indoors (e.g. on windows). There will also be an earthy, musty smell similar to the smell of the forest floor deep in the woods. You may also notice mould visually especially in bathrooms, ceilings, walls, or window sills.
Mould needs certain conditions to grow: moisture, warmth, spores and nutrients. Of the four, the easiest condition to take control of is moisture. Therefore, the most effective mould removal solution is with a good quality dehumidifier. With a dehumidifier, your home will be void of any excess moisture.
Why is it so important to control the indoor humidity with a good dehumidifier?
Moisture is the biggest factor when it comes to mould growth. If there is no moisture there is no way for the mould to grow. You have to remove moisture from your home to get rid of the mould permanently.
The other factors (warmth, spores, and nutrients) are harder to control. Different species of mould require different factors. Some may need higher temperatures, some lower; some require light, whereas some can grow in darkness. However, all species of mould always need one factor to be present, that is moisture.
As stated by the North Carolina Department of Health:
All of the conditions needed for mold growth (food sources and appropriate temperatures) are present in the indoor environment with the exception of adequate moisture. Prevention of mold growth indoors can not be achieved without proper moisture control.
It is very difficult to control the warmth in the spaces that mould likes to grow. It is also almost impossible in certain climates to remove every mould spore. Of course, the nutrients (most of which are found in moist air) can also be hard to cut off without a dehumidifier.
The great thing about getting rid of mould using a dehumidifier is that it is a quick and easy solution. Simply by removing the moisture factor in mould growth, you never have to worry about how to kill mould again.
Managing indoor humidity levels
A relative humidity (RH) level of 60% indoors and below is good. At this level, there will not be enough water in the air for mould to grow.
An RH level of 70% and above (for extended periods of time) encourages mould to grow.
A good first step in ensuring you don’t exceed this level is to get a hygrometer to monitor your indoor humidity level.
In the summer, air conditioning can help to de-humidify indoor space. In winter, however, indoor condensation is common. This is because there are cold surfaces in the building, causing water vapour to condense on those surfaces. While insulation of exterior walls can prevent condensation and mould growth, this may not always be possible in office buildings or existing homes.
Therefore, you should always be mindful of indoor sources of water vapour that can be problematic. For example, make sure to vent your clothes dryers to the outdoors.
Other sources of indoor vapour also include unvented gas or kerosene space heaters. Therefore, they should be used sparingly and never as a primary heat source.
Additionally, you should run the bathroom exhaust fan when showering or bathing. Also, make sure the vent is exhausted to the outdoors. In the kitchen, a properly vented kitchen exhaust fan can remove steam created during cooking.
How to kill mould permanently
When you have a mould problem you can easily find a mould removal expert to come in and take care of it. However, if you don’t figure out how to kill mould permanently, you will be calling them back regularly to do more mould removal.
The best way to permanently remove mould is to understand how to control its growth factors and kill mould at first sight.
First, remove mould from visible areas. That will involve buying some mould remover killer cleaning products and a lot of scrubbing. Check out our infographic on the best mould removal solution.
Next, regulate your indoor humidity level to 60% or below to make sure mould never comes back. While following the tips above can help to manage this, if you have a major mould problem or if there is just no good ventilation in your home (especially if you live in an apartment), then the only permanent fix for mould removal is a dehumidifier.
How a dehumidifier kills mould permanently
A dehumidifier works by drawing moisture out of the air and collecting it into a tank for disposal. There are different types of dehumidifiers in the market and it’s a good idea to do some research on how to choose a dehumidifier before you invest in one.
We highly recommend desiccant dehumidifiers for mould removal because they work in both high and low temperatures and require no maintenance other than regular cleaning. Compared to compressor types, desiccant dehumidifiers are also quieter and more compact.
Desiccant dehumidifiers like the Ionmax Ion612 and Ionmax Ion632 are fast becoming a popular choice for Australian households. The Ionmax Ion632 was recently tested and reviewed by Choice Consumer Magazine’s dehumidifier review and came up top choice.
If you want to get rid of mould in your home or office permanently, then you need a dehumidifier to constantly regulate the indoor humidity level and stop mould from having the chance to grow. For more information on mould, we’ve found this mould fact sheet by the WA Department of Health to be very helpful.
Now that you know how to kill mould permanently, you can enjoy a clean, healthy environment at home safe from nasty, toxic mould! If you have your own tips, let us know in the comments below.
View our range of dehumidifiers to help control the humidity within your home or office: