Homeowners have good reason to shudder when they are told ‘you’ve got mould’, as far from just being ugly and stinky (which it most certainly is) mould can also cause serious damage to both your home and your health.

As most people are beginning to think about the home maintenance tasks they will need to tackle before the spring arrives, and are buoyed by all of those New Year’s resolutions to improve their surroundings this year it seems like the perfect time to discuss just what you can do in your home to help prevent mould. And some of them may surprise you.

Cut Down on Clutter

What can cluttered corners possibly have to do with mould prevention? A lot actually. Clutter blocks the natural airflow patterns in your home, leading to moister air and damp patches. Moist air and damp patches lead to mould, and as the items in the clutter pile get mouldy the pesky stuff gets stronger and stronger and begins to spread.

So, although we know it’s tough, it’s time to get ruthless and throw out, give away or sell what you really don’t need or don’t use.

Maintain a Steady Indoor Climate

If you are the kind of person who tends to keep your home nursery warm in winter and refrigerator cold in the summer then unfortunately the chances that by doing so you are encouraging mould growth are high. The same unfortunately is true though if you try to save money by keeping setting the temperature of the AC too high or the heating to low. To prevent mould you need air that is as stable in terms of moisture as possible. Maintaining year round temperatures of between 19 and 21 °C will help achieve that.

Monitor Humidity

Homes can be humid at any time of year, not just when it warm and sunny outside. At about 60% humidity mould can begin to form almost anywhere, so monitoring the humidity in your home is a must, as is taking the right preventative measures, such as simply running a small, portable dehumidifier, if you notice it going a little high.

Go on a Moisture Hunt

The moisture the mould loves so much often lurks unnoticed and unseen, eventually meaning that mould, having discovered such a lovely place to thrive and grow, will soon be doing the same.

To help prevent this take the time to go on a moisture hunt. Check for damp and leaks below sinks, under fridges and freezers, in basements and attics and especially around door and window frames. And if you discover any problems resolve to fix them as soon as possible, as with every hour, never mind day, that passes the threat of mould damage grows.

If You Find Mould

So what should you do if you find mould? If it’s a tiny isolated patch maybe you can tackle it yourself with a DIY mould remover. But if you are finding patches all over the place, or an area of mould larger than about a foot don’t mess around and take any risks (with your home or your health) and call in a mould remediation specialist right away to evaluate just what’s going on.