Mould grows in areas of high humidity and low temperatures. So it’s important for your health to eliminate, extract and manage moisture in your home.
Boiling four pots on the stove releases 1 litre of water.
Place lids on pots – this saves energy as well.
Use an extractor fan, rangehood, vented to outside, rather than up into the ceiling.
Open a window – as long as wind doesn’t push moisture back in.
A family of four showering can release up to two litres of water into your home.
Use an extractor fan – these work best with a slight opening of the window while you’re showering, so it can draw air from somewhere. To be most effective, it needs to be single unit, rather than the combined three in one unit with lights and heat lamps.
Keep the bathroom door closed when having a shower, as well as afterwards for 15 minutes - this contains the moisture so it can be removed by your extractor fan and open window. If you do use a heater it will hold more moisture, which can then be quickly extracted.
Squidgee your shower walls and door down the drain with a wiper blade after a shower to get rid of remaining moisture.
Install a showerdome on top of a box shower to contain all the moisture, which will then run down the walls of your shower.
Removing moisture & mould
With condensation in the mornings it’s important not to just open a window to ventilate your home, but to dry the window first with a wiper blade and absorbent cloth, Scoopee, or motorised scooper like a Karcher Window Vacuum from Mitre 10.
Dehumidifiers, while effective, are only for removing what moisture you can’t avoid – they are generally too expensive to use as a total moisture management solution.
Dealing with mould
Spray with a simple, non-toxic mould spray made from 70% vinegar, 30% water (don’t use pure vinegar) to kill the mould spores. Leave it for 30 minutes, then go back and wipe it. Throw away the rag (or use paper towels) – it will have mould spores on it.
Bleaches just bleach the mould and don’t necessarily kill the spores.
Use a baking soda paste for removing old dead mould staining.
Remove moisture externally too
If the ground beneath your house is damp you can have up to 20 litres of moisture entering your home per day by installing a ground vapour barrier. This is usually just black polythene, which will cost most homes ~$100. Measure your ground area, buy black polythene from Mitre10/Bunnings, lay the polythene out, and overlap it where possible, cutting around piles and taping the polythene to the piles with insulation tape. A DIY guide is available at Eco Design Adviser.
Clean gutters to remove leaves building up and moisture entering via the roof or walls.
Ensure downpipes are joined and sealed, and going into the ground and draining water away, not pooling water – otherwise they can funnel water into the base of a house, which rises into the house.
Don’t build gardens and plant right onto the walls or the base of your house.