“Is mould dangerous?” is one of the first questions we’re often asked during discussions about managing and removing mould from doors. And the answer is that yes, it certainly can be. Most types of mould grow in damp conditions and appear as a collection of black, green or grey spots. Some of this mould is highly toxic, but much of it looks alike so it can be hard to tell exactly which kind of mould you have without an expert diagnosis. But even if your mould is not the highly toxic kind, most moulds will at the very least exacerbate breathing problems and cause respiratory irritation, so it’s always worth removing from your doors as soon as possible.
If you have a whitish coating rather than the dark spots, you likely have mildew on your door rather than mould. Mildew is another form of fungus that can be similarly bad for your health.
In today’s article we’ll offer you our top tips and tricks for removing unsightly mould and mildew patches and ensuring they don’t return. We need to start by asking ourselves “why are my doors mouldy in the first place?”
What Causes Mould in a House?
Whether you have a mouldy door seal, a mouldy wooden door or mildew on your door frames, your first step in getting rid of it is to identify the underlying cause. So what causes mould to grow in your house? Simply put, it’s an excess of moisture, and this moisture will usually come from damp or condensation.
There are several forms of damp that could be leaving you with mould on a door. Rising damp is moisture that is trapped beneath the house and rises up through the walls in order to escape into the air. Water ingress is damp cause by a leak in the fabric of the building, which allows rainwater to seep in, so if you have a mouldy front door, check for air gaps around the frame. Leaking pipes can also lead to damp appearing around your home.
Condensation occurs when humidity levels are increased. As humidity increases, the air becomes saturated with water until it can’t hold any more. When this happens, the excess water appears as droplets on surfaces such as windows, mirrors and walls. The colder the surface, the more susceptible it will be to condensation. You’ll have seen this effect in the bathroom when you step out of the shower. The bathroom air will have become saturated with water and will have fogged up many of the surfaces with the water it can’t hold. But it’s not just showering that can cause condensation in your home. Without adequate ventilation, cooking, drying clothes, even breathing will all add moisture to the air and increase the chance of that moisture being left on your walls and doors.
It may be damp that caused that unsightly mildew on your wooden door, or condensation that has left you with mould around your door frames, but whatever the cause and effect, mould and mildew must be dealt with so that any spores are eliminated, your air is clean, and your doors are looking good as new. So let’s take a look now at how to clean mould and mildew off doors.
How To Clean & Remove Mould From Doors
Door mould removal with door materials such as uPVC, glass and metal is usually simply a case of washing the surface clean with a mild detergent solution, but wood is more porous and treating mould on wood is more complicated as the mould can actually set up home beneath the surface. If your wooden door is finished or painted, the mould is unlikely to be able to penetrate the surface, and should be effectively removed with the mild detergent solution mentioned above. If your door is unfinished, however, your approach will need to be a little more thorough.
While it may take a little longer, whether you’re removing black mould, or getting rid of white mould from wood, it is not a difficult job, and you’ll not need any special equipment to do it. So let’s get on and explain how you can get mould off wood.
Step 1: Choose a cleaning solution and add it to a spray bottle. We’d recommend any of the following:
- Baking soda with detergent (1 part baking soda, 2 parts water with a little liquid detergent)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Distilled vinegar
- Bleach with detergent (1 part detergent, 10 parts bleach and 20 parts water)
Note that if you use the bleach solution, don’t combine it with a detergent that contains ammonia as this will produce dangerous gasses, and do choose a bleach that contains surfactants as this will ensure the bleach penetrates the surface of the wood to kill the mould at its root.
Step 2: Put on appropriate protective clothing. This job will require you to protect yourself from the mould spores and potentially the cleaning product too, so we’d recommend a facemask and goggles to protect from spores and fumes, rubber gloves, and possibly overalls if your skin is sensitive to the mould.
Step 3: Spray your cleaning solution so that it covers the area to be cleaned and let it sit there for a minute or two before scrubbing the area thoroughly with a rag or low-abrasive scourer / brush. Work hard to ensure all traces of the mould or mildew are removed, and then wipe any excess solution away.
Step 4: Rinse the doors with clean water and a fresh sponge, dry it off, and ensure the area is really well ventilated to help the door dry out completely. If, once the door is dry, traces or odours of mould are still present, repeat the process.
And when it comes to keeping your doors mould and mildew-free the solution is to keep the area around them as clean and dry as possible.
Removing mould from wood, or another door material is an important task that should be done as soon as possible – before that mould takes hold! But it’s not a difficult job and the benefits to your health and the look of your home are huge. So set aside an hour or so, and give your doors (and yourself) some much deserved TLC!