How do you remove mould from the ceiling permanently?
Lucinda says, killing mould isn’t enough - you have to remove it.
“The presence of mould, dead or alive, can be problematic for someone who is sensitive to it,” she says. “Like with hay fever - the mere presence of the pollen triggers a response, it doesn’t matter whether or not the flowers are in a vase or growing.
“This is where removing mould is essential. Microfibre cloths are ideal for this, as well as the use of a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter."
How to naturally remove mould from bathroom and bedrooom ceiling
Whether or not you can remove mould from your ceiling will depend on the cause.
Unfortunately, if the mould on the ceiling is caused by an ongoing leak in your roof, then Lucinda says, “it is likely that the mould you are seeing is the tip of the iceberg.”
“Once the leak has been addressed, the affected area needs to be removed by mould remediation professionals and that part of the ceiling be replaced.”
If the mould has appeared due moisture in the air, such as from steam in your bathroom, then it's likely a surface mould that can be cleaned.
Step-by-step instructions for how to clean mould off the ceiling
Lucinda shares the best way to remove mould
What you’ll need:
- dishwashing detergent
- two microfibre cloths - microfibre cloths are designed to pick things up off a surface, as opposed to regular cloths which just smear them around.
- thyme or oregano essential oils (optional)
- To clean the surface, mix up dishwashing detergent with warm water.
- Lucinda recommends adding essential oils, like oregano and thyme to the soapy water mix to "supercharge the effect".
- Using microfibre cloths square, dip into the soapy solution and wipe down the surface. After you have used each square on both sides to remove mould, Lucinda says to throw it out. This is to avoid cross contamination and causing the mould to spread.
Is it OK to just paint over mould?
Unfortunately, painting over mould isn’t enough to get rid of it - it will continue to grow. You will need to remove any existing mould before painting your ceiling.
The Mould Doctor says: "The good news is that there is a wide range of mould resistant paints available that discourage the growth of mould. These contain a level of mildewcide that will keep the paint free of mould and mildew for some time – usually for the life of the paint.
"The bad news is that just using these paints alone is not enough. In order for the paint to work, the mould needs to be attacked at its source before painting."
How to prevent mould on your ceiling
The most important thing is to control the moisture levels.
“It’s key to understand that mould is a moisture issue. Mould spores are everywhere, but the issue is, are we providing enough moisture for it to grow or not?” says Lucinda.
So is there an ideal humidity level you should be aiming for in your home?
“Although each genera of mould has different moisture requirements, most are inactive at around 50% relative humidity,” says Lucinda. “The ideal range would be 45-55% relative humidity (RH), with 40-60% RH being acceptable,” says Lucinda.
“Also, understanding that anything that is wet for more than 48 hours can provide enough moisture to support microbial activity. Therefore, if there’s a spill, leak or flood, all materials need to be dried out as quickly as possible.”
Tips to prevent mould growth in your home
Here are Lucinda's tips for preventing mould.
- Wipe down windows. If your windows get condensation, wipe them down every day.
- Fix leaks ASAP. It only takes 48 hours for mould to potentially start growing.
- Increase ventilation. Use extractor fans - "ensure that they are vented to the exterior to prevent redirecting moist air into the roof space."
- Open the windows. Even during winter.
- Use a dehumidifier with an air purifier that has a true HEPA filter. Lucinda says, “When mould is disturbed, it will release spores.” Changing humidity levels is one way mould is disrupted, “which means sporing can also be triggered when a dehumidifier is used.”
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