This page provides information on mould, mould removal and what to do if your house has mould.
Our environmental health team provides information to residents and businesses about the health impacts of mould and how to remove and prevent mould from growing.
If you have a problem with mould, refer to the ‘How to Remove Mould’ instructions on this page, or download and read our Mould and Condensation Info Sheet.
If you need further help, you can contact us and ask to speak to a member of our environmental health team.
The following information is taken from the WA Department of Health’s Mould and Dampness webpage.
Dealing with Mould
What is Mould
Mould is a fungal growth and grows under the right conditions of dampness, darkness and poor ventilation.
Common places for mould growth include:
- Cluttered storage areas
- Wall and roof spaces
- Behind furniture
Indoor mould and dampness can cause unpleasant odours and damage to building materials, contents and structures, which can lead to expensive maintenance or management costs.
What is Hidden Mould
Mould or damp patches are not always visible and you may have hidden mould or dampness in your property. This may exist if:
- There is a mouldy/earthy odour
- There is regular condensation indoors
- Your home feels regularly humid.
Places where you may find hidden mould or damp include:
- Opposite side of dry walls, wallpaper or panelling
- Roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to leaks or insufficient insulation) – cement roof tiles may lose their outer glaze and absorb moisture into roof spaces
- Underside of carpets and pads, or curtains
- Inside walls, particularly around pipes that are leaking or condensing and drains
- In roof spaces, particularly if moist air is vented into the roof space but not allowed to escape
- Condensate drain pans inside air handling units
- Porous thermal or acoustic liners inside ductwork
You may need professional help to find and remove hidden mould.
Health Effects of Mould
Mould and dampness in homes may cause health problems such as:
- Asthma attacks
- Watery, itchy, red eyes
- Respiratory infections
- Rashes (dermatitis) e.g. eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Sinus problems, blocked noses.
Reactions are more likely to occur in people with serious allergies to mould and those with chronic lung disease. If you have persistent health problems that may be mould-related, speak to your doctor.
How to Remove Mould
Most mould can be treated by following these steps:
- Scrub mould off hard surfaces using soapy water. The physical action of scrubbing is the most important component as all the mould must be physically removed to prevent regrowth. Make sure you scrub up to 50cm from the edge of the visible mould as there may be new growth that is not visible to the naked eye.
- Clean up any mould residue caused by the scrubbing. Use a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
- Dry the area.
- Find and fix the source of the moisture.
When removing mould, make sure:
- You wear personal protective equipment (rubber gloves, face mask and safety goggles)
- The room is well ventilated – but that there isn’t a lot of air movement that will blow the spores into other areas of the home.
Soapy water is usually sufficient for removing mould. Other products that can be used include:
- Commercially available products
- Natural anti-fungal agents, such as vinegar, tea-tree oil.
Fungicides that are developed for outdoor use should not be used for indoor mould.
Mould in Rental Homes
Mould and damp caused by structural faults or leaks should be remedied by the owner however you must ensure that you are not generating too much moisture indoors and that the building is adequately ventilated.
If you have taken measures to ensure the building is properly heated and aired and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner or property agent.
If you are seeking further advice, you can contact: