May 20 - 126, 2018: Issue 360

Winter Mould & Mildew Inside Your home: How to Keep Air and Surfaces Healthier

It’s starting to get cold and when it does we tend to close windows, draw curtains and blinds to keep warmth in and bring still damp clothes in off the line as the sun slips towards the horizon to ‘air’ them overnight inside before putting them in closets and drawers. We put down thedraught stops, check seals on windows and slide a thicker mat over those bathroom drains that seem to filter a draught into the home.

If we love wood furniture this can accumulate mildew left over from summer humidity. Hard floors, whether wood, tiles or other, can also be a place where a coating of moisture and condensation build-up becomes a breeding ground for spores.

We want to keep the heating bill down, but not at the cost of good health and good air within the home.

Although some of this can be alleviated by a dehumidifier, or using an upright airer in one room of the home where a window can be left open, a few other measures can be taken to reduce condensation within the home and the conditions that promote mould and mildew with a few easy steps and a bit of regular maintenance. 

Install an exhaust fan
An exhaust fan in the bathroom will stop condensation buildup in the bathroom areas, or a laundry where a dryer is. Bathroom fans are essential for removing moisture and bad odours from the bathrooms in your home, preventing the growth of mould and mildew. By removing excess moisture from the air, you can also prevent wallpaper and paint from peeling and prevent doors and windows from becoming warped. If your bathroom doesn't have one, installing one will cut out cold and hot weather moisture. If you do have one and it's not been replaced for years, the great new products available may be a low cost of making the air and moisture inside your home healthier.

Installing or replacing a bathroom fan is a moderately easy DIY project for homeowners with basic electrical and carpentry skills. The only connection you can legally make to the fixed wiring in your home (unless you are a licensed electrician) is to push a plug into a socket and flick the switch, so bear this in mind if you wish to self-install. Although electrical work seems simple, there are many risks, including electrocution and circuit overload – which can lead to a fire. You can physically install the fan and other components, but you cannot legally make any electrical connections. Follow exactly the instructions of your electrician and the manufacturer to ensure the safety of your home.

Install self-closing exhaust fans and ducts to prevent heat-loss in winter, the loss of cool air in summer, and entry of insects or vermin anytime.

The first thing you need to do when choosing a new bathroom fan is determine the CFM rating for your bathroom, so you can buy the appropriate strength fan. CFM stands for "Cubic Feet per Minute" and refers to how much air the fan can move per minute. Small bathrooms will need low CFM fans, while larger bathrooms may require fans with a much higher CFM. Fans are available in a range of sizes and shapes, so each has different clearance requirements. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions fully before you start cutting into your ceiling. 

To calculate the CFM for your bathroom, multiply the room's cubic footage (length x width x height). For example, if your bathroom measured 120 square feet, you would multiply that by the height of the ceiling (say 8') to get 960. THEN divide by 7.5 to get a CFM rating of 128.
You will find the CFM rating of a new fan printed on its box.

Consider the sound rating of your fan. The sound rating of your new fan, which is measured in sones. New fans usually have a sound rating somewhere between 0.5 (very quiet) and 6 (very loud). Some people prefer to have very quiet fans, while others value the privacy offered by louder fans, especially in public areas of the home. Like the CFM, the sone ratings of new fans will be printed on the box

Choose the location of the fan. The location of your bathroom fan is important. It should be installed at the center point between your shower and toilet for optimum ventilation. However, if your bathroom is very large, you may need to install more than one fan.

Invest in a Good Hard Surfaces cleaner
Vacuuming and washing floors can still leave dust or cleaning products behind on hard surfaces. A few weeks ago Kärcher Australia launched the new and innovative FC5 Floor Cleaner. The Floor Cleaner FC 5's two-in-one function lets you mop and suction wet and dry dirt in just one step. No need to vacuum beforehand – mopping has never been easier, faster or more thorough. The automatically moistened, rotating microfibre rollers pick dirt up, while the water-dirt mixture is continuously suctioned off the rollers at the same time. This practical self-cleaning function keeps the rollers fresh and ready to use at all times. The FC 5 uses up to 85% less water while providing significantly better cleaning performance. The FC 5 can be used on all standard hard floors, whether they are made of wood, stone or plastic.

Application Areas
On all hard floors, such as parquet, laminate, cork, stone, linoleum or PVC
For hygienic cleaning applications in all areas (e.g. toilet, kitchen, bath, etc.)
For fast and effortless wet cleaning of hard floors
Also suitable for sealed, oiled and waxed parquet

60m²/h cleaning capability per tank. 400ml clean water tank. 200ml dirty water tank. 500rpm roller speed. 300mm cleaning width.

Clean and Apply a Good furniture Polish to Wooden Furniture

Removing mould
If you already have mould at your house the best way to get rid of it is with a good scrub of a white vinegar and water solution.
Eight parts vinegar to two parts water and a microfibre cloth is the recommendation.  Remember to patch test on surfaces before cleaning them. Although bleach for mould removal has been used in the past it does not kill the mould, it just bleaches the colour out.
If you are using this vinegar-water mix to remove white mould from wood surfaces, remeber to apply a good polish afterwards to protect the item from further mould build-up.



Anti-bacterial wipes that are treated with a disinfectant fight mould. For cleaning mould from carpet, two tablespoons each of bi-carb soda, white vinegar and methylated spirits, and two teaspoons each of eucalyptus and glycerine has proved successful for many - always spot test first though.

Moisture absorbing buckets you put in your cupboards are also effective at reducing the humidity and preventing mould in those areas where ventilation is not present.


13m line space

Products shown here are from Johnson Brothers online store (link below) and JBH Mitre 10
Green Life Garden Centre at Johnson Brothers Mona Vale

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Store
73 Bassett Street
Mona Vale - Online Store: Jbhmv.Com.Au

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333 Online store:

All information and tips in this publication are of a general nature only and neither Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 or Pittwater Online News does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information and tips in this publication. This publication is not intended to be a substitute for expert advice. Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 advises you to always consult an experienced and qualified person when undertaking jobs of this kind (including consulting a qualified tradesperson such as an electrician or plumber where relevant expert services are required). 

You should also consider any safety precautions that may be necessary when undertaking the work described in this publication (including wearing any necessary safety equipment such as safety glasses, goggles or ear protectors or hard hats). The information and tips in this publication are provided on the basis that Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 and Pittwater Online News excludes all liability for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred (including, but not limited to, indirect and consequential loss or damage and whether or not such loss or damage could have been foreseen) for any personal injury or damage to property whatsoever resulting from the use of the information and tips in this publication. 

Pittwater Online News and Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 also advises there may be laws, regulations or by-laws with which you must comply when undertaking the work described in this publication. You should obtain all necessary permissions and permits from council and/or any other relevant statutory body or authority before carrying out any work. Major projects published in this publication always list these and/orlinks to where you may research what your own project requires to meet regulations.

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care  Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in  a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed  Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn  How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegies  Winter Heating Guide  Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I  How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  Summer Salad Garden  Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II  Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence  Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture  Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting  Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring  Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months  Children’s Step Stool with Storage  Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes  DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing  Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation  DIY Garden Shed: Weather- boards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay  Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant  DIY Sandstone Flagging Parking Area - Platform  DIY Pre-Summer Checklist For A Safe Home   Summer Spruce Up: Interior Paint Tips and Three easy steps to rejuvenate your timber deck The Perfect BBQ Garden Setting DIY Water Wise Garden   DIY Side Gates  DIY Storm Preparation And Home Protection  One To Two Day DIY Weekend Spruce Ups  Vegepods For Autumn Planting + Easy To Make Lego Table Or Student Desk That Can Be Dismantled + Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Online Store   Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Great New Mona Vale Store: Still In Bassett Street - number 73  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Mona Vale Store: The Greenlife Garden Centre  Go Outside And Play: Creating Garden Spaces To Connect Children With Nature DIY Plasterboard Repair DIY Dolls House Or Garage Or Boatshed  DIY Child's Waggon - or use as a large planter mover DIY Bathroom Refresh: Zing For Spring  Tips for Growing a Native Garden FireCrunch, Australian Developed Fire-proof, Sustainable, Durable and Reliable Building Board Now Available at Johnson Bros. at Mona Vale and Narrabeen School Holidays DIY Ideas for Children: Little Vegetables Garden, Swing, Windchimes Bushfire Season Preparation 2017: Home and Outdoor Areas  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale + Issue No 1 of Mitre 10’s inSITE Magazine for Tradies and Handymen  Preparing Al Fresco Areas for Christmas Get-Togethers and Summer Visitors  Summer De-bug; Mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches and ants - how to keep the outdoors insects where they belong DIY Summer Projects: Install A Fountain Or Water Feature  Late Summer and Early Autumn Projects: A Shed For All Storage Solutions + Garden Tasks + Keeping Our Waterways Clean  Autumn Plantings for Winter Harvests 2018   Paintback Collection Event: Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale Saturday, April 7  Reducing Ticks in Your Garden: Garden care, Plants that Repel, What to Wear Outdoors Attracting Insectivore Birds to Your Garden: DIY Natural Tick Control  Mother's Day 2018: DIY Rose Garden 


John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

Australia's Prime Minister Visits Mackellar - Informal Afternoon Tea with Hon. Malcolm Turnbull October 2016