Mould – of all the signs that something is in need of a good clean, this is the one with the most negative attitudes directed at it.
Whilst you can usually get away with a dusty surface or a mug that’s seen one teabag too many, any visitor to your office is going to assume the worst if they see and mould growing on your window seals or ceiling.
Which is a shame, as mould can grow essentially wherever there is moisture and it’s a fairly common in just about every building. But the good news is, it’s as clean-able as it is fast-growing – and we’ve got ten tips to help you break the mould when cleaning your office or workplace:
1. The Number 1 tip for tackling mould is knowing that it feeds on moisture in dark corners – In the words of Sun Tzu; know your enemy.
2. This means reducing humidity in the air. We know from working in London offices during the summer, the air get seem a little ‘heavy’ – invest in a dehumidifier, especially if you work in a basement.
3. Is mould growing in somewhere seemingly random? Check behind the wallpaper for signs of condensation – you might have a leak from an outside wall, or even worse – problems with a pipe inside your wall.
4. Crack open a window! The easiest way to prevent mould growing is be having fresh air circulating and a way out for moisture. Leave a window open during office hours – this is especially important in office bathrooms.
5. Don’t leave any spillages! If someone spills a mop-bucket or there’s a leak in the ceiling, you’ll have about 24-48 hours before mould will start to take root – dry everything as best as you can, as often as you can to stop this happening!
6. Hard surfaces are just as susceptible to mould as anywhere else – but tend to be cleaned much more easily! A little detergent with warm water will get most spores off.
7. As for softer surfaces like ceiling tiles, your best bet is a thin-bleach solution. Handle with care and be prepared for discolouration on anything other than white, but mixing a thin (not thick bleach, like Domestos) with water will be absorbed more readily by the material – don’t leave it on for more than a few minutes, though!
8. If you know a good janitorial supply company (hint, hint…) professional mould cleaner is your secret weapon. It’s anti-fungal properties stop the mould growing back, making your cleaning a more worthwhile endeavour.
9. Never just paint over it! Covering a damp or mouldy spot on a wall might make you feel a bit better for a week or so, but masking it in this way only serves to hide a bigger problem.
10. Let the sun shine! Sunlight actually helps remove the staining formed by some strains of mould – so where possible, leave the curtains or blinds open and keep the room well-ventilated for an organic way to remove mould!