If we had to pick a top enemy for property in Malta, it would probably be mould. Why is it such a widespread problem?
The Maltese climate, with its high rates of humidity, brings about a lot of condensation which provides moisture for mould to grow. In winter, the problem drastically increases due to the low temperatures and the lack of central heating in Maltese properties.
Apart from the black patches being an unsightly mess and damaging the paint and stonework, it’s important to treat mould because it can also affect your general health and lead to breathing difficulties and various allergies. If you’re a seller or a buyer faced with this headache, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
How to Clean Mould
Bleach is one of the more effective methods when it comes to cleaning mould. Create a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 3 parts water and wipe the mould away using a damp cloth. However, be careful as bleach is a corrosive acid and can damage certain types of surfaces. Moreover, while bleach is effective at killing mould spores it is not able to penetrate porous surfaces. This means that the root of the mould will remain there only for it to multiply a few weeks later. It also releases toxic fumes that can be harmful to inhale.
A less harmful method of removing mould is to use white distilled vinegar. Unlike bleach, vinegar is non-toxic, mild acid which means it’s safer to use. Although this is a great advantage over bleach, vinegar only kills 82% of mould species. There’s no need to water down vinegar; just buy cheap white distilled vinegar and transfer it into a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar onto the surface and leave it to sit for an hour. After, wipe the area with water and allow the surface to dry.
The best way to remove mould is probably to use hydrogen peroxide. Unlike bleach, it doesn’t damage the environment and does not leave behind toxic residue. Buy hydrogen peroxide of around 3% concentration and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the surface completely and leave it on for ten minutes. Afterwards, gently scrub the area.
An important thing to consider for all the above options is that scrubbing a painted wall with these substances will cause the colour to fade. Unless you have a white wall, be prepared to touch up your paint.
How to Prevent Mould
Although it is quite easy to clean mould, prevention is always better than cure. While you can’t always stop mould from spreading, these few steps go a long way to help keep mould from developing.
- Circulation of air is key. Open up the windows for ventilation, especially when it’s sunny and hot outside (which let’s face it, is the vast majority of our days in Malta). Move furniture away from the walls and open doors between rooms.
- Dry your clothes outside whenever possible. If you can’t do otherwise, dry your clothes in a room where it is possible to open a window for ventilation.
- Moisture is mould’s best friend. Make sure that all your bath tubs and sinks are properly sealed, along with door frames and window frames. If you have any leaks, fix them immediately.
- If you have a particularly humid room, use a dehumidifier to help improve the situation, making sure to empty its container to keep it working efficiently. Alternatively, try leaving big bowls of salt in various locations of your home. Salt absorbs moisture in the air, and you don’t even need to buy more salt; just dry it out in the sun and reuse it.
Any more tried-and-tested methods for removing mould? Drop us a comment below!