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an Army of Spores

A few years ago – I moved back to the British Virgin Islands. The first thing I did was find myself an affordable apartment with a nice view.  I now live high up on the hillside in a private community just 10 minutes from the town centre.  I’m surrounded by nature and the glorious Caribbean sunshine pours through my windows every morning.

I hadn’t been there very long, though, when I found out I wasn’t the only thing living in my apartment.  There appeared to be other creatures that enjoyed being hidden in the hills surrounded by moist air and lush vegetation.  

At first I was not sure what the little spots were on my clothing, leather items, doors and even my nicely painted walls.  Small specks would mushroom into quarter-sized abstract patterns.  Mine even had a variety of colours. I was told that these silent invaders were mould and mildew; fungi with a penchant for interior and exterior surfaces that tend to be damp and receive little or no direct sunlight.  

To get rid of the pesky squatters, I bought a dehumidifier, cleaned regularly with a potent solution of bleach and water, adorned my apartment with eucalyptus leaves and kept my cupboards and windows open to allow the air to circulate.  Unfortunately, the little pests still kept multiplying.  I needed to raise my defences against the battalion of invading spores.

Tired of high laundry bills and exhausted from cleaning, I researched other solutions.  It seemed I needed to add mould-resistant paints and a solution called Mildewcide to my arsenal.  

DID YOU KNOW?

  1. You can call in at most local paint or home improvement stores on Island and you’ll find either of the two products.  You’ll probably pay $8 – $10 for Mildewcide to be added to a gallon of mould-resistant paint; and it can be added to paint of almost any colour.
  2. If you are not sure the black, brown, grey or green spots on your wall are mould and mildew, test for the two by applying a few drops of household bleach to the area.  If the spot disappears, the discoloration is most likely mildew; if the spot is not affected by the bleach, it probably is dirt.  Mould also has a distinctive musty scent.
  3. Before you begin painting over your army of mould or mildew spores, it is important to clean and dry surfaces completely.  To clean walls and other surfaces use a mix solution of ¾ cup of bleach to a gallon of water.  Latex paints especially tend to progress the growth of mould.  If mould isn’t properly cleaned from walls, it can penetrate the new layer of paint.
  4. Other handy tips to reduce mould in your dwelling include using thin drapes that will allow the free flow of air through windows; leaving lamps and lights on in closets or damp corners; and placing newspaper on your closet floors to soak up moisture from muddy shoes.
  5. Experts say that complete eradication of mould spores is almost impossible, but reducing the spores always proves to be of some benefit to your cleaning routine and your health.  

Ensuring your residence has a lower chance of mildew and mould build-up can prove to be a great selling point for property buyers and renters that are all too acquainted with a mould elimination routine.

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Please note, mildew/mould resistant paint, like all other chemical products, should be kept out of the reach of children.  If paint surfaces are sucked or ingested by children, it may prove to be a health risk.  These paints should not be used on surfaces small children may suck or lick.

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