Hutt at Heart
black mould

Eco Design Tips: Mould

Most houses in NZ will have some mould in them.

Have a look at your window frames and behind the curtains, these are where you’re most likely to find it. Mould on the walls or ceiling of your house is a sign of a larger problem relating to low temperature, high humidity and poor ventilation.

Generally mould will appear as a group of small black spots which can grow into larger patches. If left unchecked it will establish itself in the house, releasing toxic spores into the environment. Mould has been linked to ill health, especially respiratory illnesses.

If there is mould the house needs to be warmer and better ventilated. A living room temperature of 20°C and relative humidity of between 40% and 60% is recommended.

Surface mould on paint or window frames should be cleaned regularly. Wash the mould using warm soapy water; use an old toothbrush to scrub it if necessary. Rinse and dry the surface. Repeat the process regularly, at least twice yearly. Clean it regularly even if no mould is visible. If mould is in your curtains, wash or dry clean them. If severe replace them.

If it has grown into the paint it might be best to repaint, and if in a wet area use a mould-proof paint. If mould patches are more than 1m2 or have penetrated the building material then it is recommended that the material be replaced, especially if it is wallboard.

If it returns rapidly then it would indicate that there is a moisture problem in the house, and specialist advice might be required.

Hutt City Council offers a free home assessment service by our in-house Eco Design Advisor.

For a full house assessment and advice,

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Subscribe to Hutt at Heart – Te Manawa, your monthly email newsletter where you can find out about fantastic things going on across our city and at Hutt City Council.