Check the following points before removing mould
Before you start removing mould, make sure you are properly protected. This applies even if you are using gentler everyday household products rather than aggressive chemical cleaners. Citric acid, vinegar essence or alcohol can damage skin and irritate airways. The process of removing mould can also cause the release of more spores which can make their way into your lungs or onto your skin. It is therefore important to consider the following points:
Special products for removing mould
- Mould removers with benzalkonium chloride: You can buy special chlorine-free mould removers containing benzalkonium chloride in shops. However, benzalkonium chloride is not entirely harmless and should be used with great caution. Careful rinsing with clean water and thorough ventilation after use are especially important when using benzalkonium chloride or chlorine mould removers.
- Chlorine-based mould removers: Sodium hypochlorite, or chlorine, is extremely effective in removing mould. However, given its adverse effects on health and the environment, chlorine is best avoided. If a chlorine-based cleaner comes into contact with an acidic household product, toxic chlorine gases can be emitted. Full protective equipment and precise compliance with the manufacturer’s usage instructions are essential when using chlorine cleaners.
- Dry the bathroom: After showering or bathing, thoroughly dry any residual moisture in the shower tray or bath and wipe any splashes from the walls and floor. This will stop the moisture evaporating and thus increasing air humidity, and will also prevent it from accumulating in corners, sills and joints where it would provide an ideal breeding ground for mould fungus. When drying surfaces, pay particular attention to joints and corners. Put the heating on as well to quickly dry any remaining moisture.
- Ensure adequate ventilation: Regular exchange of air helps to remove fungal spores and keep air humidity low. Ventilate the bathroom thoroughly at regular intervals with the door closed, and keep the window ajar or use an electric fan for continuous ventilation. If in doubt, consider installing an additional window.
- Ensure a warm temperature in the room: Heat the bathroom consistently, especially after showering or bathing. This will quickly dry any remaining water and damp textiles and prevent excessive air humidity.
- Make sure surfaces stay clean: Clean the bathroom thoroughly at least once a week. Mould thrives ideally on limescale and stains. Change bathroom textiles such as towels and bath mats regularly, clean the shower curtain and keep it dry.
- Use neutral-cure silicones: Cheap silicones are ‘acetoxy silicones’ which have little effect in combating mould. High-quality sanitary silicone with a neutral-cure structure is far more resistant to mould.
- Use a silicone that inhibits fungal growth: You can also purchase special silicones containing fungicides. However, these are not entirely recommended as their effectiveness is often limited. The fungicides can also be harmful for the environment and health.
- Seal connections: Mould frequently forms in places where unsealed connections allow moisture to accumulate – for example, a dripping shower or a leaking syphon. You should therefore check all connections in the bathroom and reseal them if required.
- Improve heat insulation: You can also improve your bathroom’s heat insulation. Gaps in heat insulation allow cold bridges to form which can encourage mould. A specialist building insulation company can provide assistance.