Removing mould and damp from your home …and why you need to do it now!

5 Non Toxic tips to remove mould in the home - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

This is a sponsored post – DeLonghi provided the Dehumidifier product for this post, however the opinions and content expressed within are completely my own.

We live in a beautiful old federation style house but living in something with so much history means there are gaps, creaks and groans and never-ending repairs and renovations. And damp and mould.

I have never experienced anything like the damp and mould I have noticed appearing in this house. We live in a hot, humid area and we have had a high rainfall in the past few years…all of which have contributed to the mould I now see appearing on walls, baseboards, furniture and even in wardrobes. It’s a big house and hard to continually clean the walls and furniture on top of my usual house cleaning jobs.

But I am more worried about the effect it is having on our health. I’ve noticed an increase in coughs, colds and sore ears since we moved here and the coughs seem to take forever to go away. This is just my own observation as a Mum, I’m not a scientist or health professional of course but I know what I see after prolonged bouts of rain, storms or high humidity (all of which usually go hand in hand here!).
According to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, one third of our population suffers from allergies and asthma which can be made worse by environmental issues in the home, including excess humidity. 
A symptom of excess humidity, mould can not only trigger asthma attacks, respiratory infections and allergic reactions, but can also contribute to bringing on pneumonia and croup.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on humidity, mould and it’s effects on the health of children and adults since I first started noticing it appearing everywhere in our home. I’ve worked out some of the best non toxic ways to remove it (see my 5 tips further down) but keeping it from returning is a whole other problem.
I’ve wondered how useful a dehumidifer would be for removing the excessive moisture in our rooms which I believe is causing the mould and damp. Could a dehumidifer improve the health of our home?
When I was offered the opportunity to review one from the DeLonghi range I was therefore pretty excited (as only a mum can be!) The new range of DeLonghi Dehumidifiers are designed to eliminate excessive moisture in the air and help prevent illnesses and more frequent asthma attacks.

I was pleasantly surprised when I unpacked ours. It looks clean and compact and doesn’t stand out next to furniture in our home. It looks a little like a mini air conditioner. It’s light enough to lift but also has the option of adding rolling castors so it is easily transported from room to room. 
It has easy to read and use electronic controls and a large LCD display – I particularly liked the temperature readings of the room which tells you the current temperature and then humidity level of the room. Don’t mind telling you it was a bit exciting seeing the humidity level go down!

The humidifier I used also had a ‘laundry function’ to help dry the wet washing quicker in rainy, damp weather. I haven’t used it as yet but it does sound rather helpful for those long periods of damp weather when nothing really dries even when hanging!
It does use a fan which makes a bit of noise as fans do but I didn’t find it annoying, no more so than our pedestal fan anyway. You need the fan because the dehumidifiers are designed to collect moisture in the air before passing it through a cooling unit where it is then converted into water droplets which are stored in a tank.
I found the tank easy to slide out from the front and empty, but there is also the option to attach a hose to drain water straight outside and therefore allow you to run the unit continuously overnight or during the day. I was really quite shocked at the amount of water in the tank after being in one of my girls rooms for only a few hours.

So how do you know if your house has a damp or humidity problem? How can you know if you and your home are at risk? 

Here’s a few possible risk factors for growing mould in the home…

  • Your house is positioned with minimal exposure to natural light.
  • Poor to no ventilation
  • Exposed to high rainfalls
  • Visible water damage
  • Clothes always feel a little damp

Already have mould or mildew in your home? Not to worry….

Here’s my 5 tips for removing mould naturally..and keeping it gone!

I’m not a fan of harsh mould remover products and bleach in the home and I find the mould and mildew usually comes back pretty quickly after application anyway so I prefer to use some simple natural alternatives..and they really do work!

  1. Check your home often for the appearance of mould and treat it quickly.
  2. Wash the mould area with warm soapy water  – rubbing a little bi-carb soda into the area with a sponge vigorously can loosen the really dark areas if you have any.
  3. In a clean spray bottle mix up a solution of 80/20 vinegar and water. Shake and then spray walls, furniture, anywhere you have just washed.
  4. Wipe down with a wet cloth and then using another spray bottle containing a solution of 2 teaspoons teatree oil to 2 cups of water spray, apply to clean areas and do not rinse off. Alternatively you can use a 1/4 teaspoon of oil of cloves to a litre of water, spray and also do not rinse off.
  5. To prevent mould reappearing wipe down wet surfaces frequently, ventilate rooms well, be aware of and fix leaky pipes or holes in the roof , run a dehumidifier regularly and spray vinegar onto surfaces which are often damp like the shower area.
It’s too early for me to say whether the dehumidifier is going to make a difference to the health of my family and our home but looking at the moisture it is collecting on a daily basis has me feeling confident that I have at least taken a step in the right direction in my battle against mould and the often associated respiratory issues. I’ll be sure to let you know and hopefully I won’t be looking at this view in my kitchen again!

If you would like to try a dehumidifier in your home the DeLonghi range includes 4 distinct products and a model for every budget….

  • DD30P (RRP $549)
  • DDS30COMBO ( RRP $449)
  • DDS25 (RRP $399)
  • DES16EW (RRP $329)

In the meantime…keep that spray bottle of vinegar and tea tree handy!

How do you remove or prevent mould in your home?

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Warm Wishes…

5 thoughts on “Removing mould and damp from your home …and why you need to do it now!

  1. We have a mould issue at our place and just like you mentioned – I’ve noticed more coughs and colds in our fmaily since we’ve moved to this home and I’m sure it’s the humidity and mould. R also has eczema which I think would be reduced if we could keep the humidity under control. A couple of months ago we looked into a great looking system which would be installed in the roof but it was VERY expensive and beyond our budget. A dehumidifier might be just what we need. I had never thought of getting one before so thank you for sharing this info!

  2. Wow check out the actual water that came out of the air! That is kinda cool in a geeky science way! LOL

    We have an old house too and have tried to deal with some of the ventilation issues as we renovate but we still seem to have a mold issue in the bathroom despite out best efforts so I am going to try your vinegar and tea tree oil tip… thanks!

  3. If I had mold in our house, I would move. Honestly, if it appears on walls, it is inside the structure as well and you will never get rid of that. We recently discovered mold in the basement of our old place and after realizing that it is due to the old structures and the cold and damp in the basement, we decided to move. I can already feel a difference in the way I feel on a daily basis.

  4. I’ve tried the vinegar and water solution to treat mold and you do need to be careful. I used it to treat the silicone around my shower tray and it caused it to shrivel up and I had to re-seal it. It worked around plastic window frames but I’d be careful where you use and how much you use. I could have left it on too long. Don’t mean sound like a naysayer just adding my two pence worth – thanks for a great post.

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