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edelweiss

Mould Bugs On The Walls And Roof

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Badly need help on this. I was a way for a week and locked my house shut (windows and bedoom doors) during this time. After I got back I noticed in the master bedroom, there are little grey patches on the ceiling. There are black bugs, very very small that I cant take a picture of, crawling on the ceiling and the walls. I had to move to another bedroom which was relatively better, but within a day I have noticed these bugs are in the entire apartment. The master bedroom is the worst. There is smell of dampness in the house and skin is now irritated and itchy due to the bugs.

Please suggest the quickest solution. I have spent a day to figure out something on my own. Bought mould killer from DIY (Tried baygon, it did not help). So plan to spray it in the entire apartment, one bedroom at a time. I will run vacuum over the walls and the ceilings too. Finally will put a new coat of paint (mould resistant and top quality). This will take at least a week.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Edited by edelweiss
 

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Think the root of the problem is u shd not have shut off all windows while away. Mold thrives well in areas where the air is still n not circulating, more so esp the recent significantly cooler weather, where ur flat is shut-off from the outside world and indoor temperatures are higher.

Not sure if the following will work, but since u intend to put over a coat of mold resistant paint, try filling a diluted spray bottle of bleach and spray onto the walls n wipe off to kill off the mold. Be sure to put on gloves n face mask n ventilate the area while doing it.

 

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I have the same problem with those bugs, and the worst part of it is that I don't even have a mould problem. Once they are introduced into the apartment, they start feeding on plastering and anything starchy (book bindings, flour and cereals for instance). They're driving me INSANE. Unintentionally found a bunch of them crawling out from the kitchen yesterday, and seriously freaked me out because one of them was in my study room (filled with books), which was untouched by them prior to yesterday.

To remove the mould, I heard wiping the affected areas with a strong concentrate of dettol and water helps, too. Airing the area and switching on the air-con would help as well. Also, before you put the paint on, do get some advice from professionals; I hear you need to apply a sealant first, though I'm not sure what it means.

Edited by Kerio
 

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Thanks for replies. I did one bedroom with a coat of mould killer solution which I bought from Self Fix, smells like bleach. Now I have put the ceiling fan on to reduce humidity.

A few questions:

a. would someone please recommend good professional cleaners? I am not looking for helpers who do general cleaning, but professional cleaners who would scrub walls and clean every corner of the house including ceilings.

b. please also recommend whether dehumidifier would be useful and which model should I buy. Should I spent 500 dollars on Novita or 100 dollars on the Self Fix one.

Thanks,

 

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Thanks for replies. I did one bedroom with a coat of mould killer solution which I bought from Self Fix, smells like bleach. Now I have put the ceiling fan on to reduce humidity.

A few questions:

a. would someone please recommend good professional cleaners? I am not looking for helpers who do general cleaning, but professional cleaners who would scrub walls and clean every corner of the house including ceilings.

b. please also recommend whether dehumidifier would be useful and which model should I buy. Should I spent 500 dollars on Novita or 100 dollars on the Self Fix one.

Thanks,

i doubt those dehumidifier is effective in any room at all... i mean, yes u can shut windows/doors for the dehumidifier to remove moisture in air, but the moment u open, the air gets replaced with moist air. so how dry can the air get?

is like aircon trying to keep a room cool with open windows/doors, how cool will it get? same theory for dehumidifier the surrounding air is never dry, so it's a waste of $$$ and electricity trying to do that.

 

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edelweiss,

Based on my experience with these bugs, the best way to get rid of them is to re-paint the walls / rooms which are affected, and then air the rooms regularly to prevent build-up of moisture in the rooms, especially if you often close up the house when you are out during the way for work. If you get sunlight into the rooms, it's even better, sun the rooms as much as you can, and air it well after that to prevent build up of moisture.

kerio,

From what I understand, the sealant is actually for walls that have one side exposed to the outside. Sometimes during construction, the materials used may not be good and the walls end up being semi-porous. So when it rains, these walls become damp because the water finds its way through tiny holes in the wall and mould can start to grow on the inside of your rooms on these walls. By applying a sealant, you prevent the moisture from going through the wall to the side of your room wall. Of course, the best solution would also be to apply a layer of sealant on the exterior wall so that both sides of the wall are protected. Note that you need to remove the existing coat of paint (using sandpaper) on your interior wall before applying the sealant for best results. Normally they apply 2 coats of sealant, then after that, you paint over it. The sealant is transparent when dried. It's like a solvent.

 

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Blue skies, you have experience with these bugs? Did you have a problem with mould previously?

I've aired my kitchen as much as possible, but I usually keep the windows closed at night because Punggol is teeming with insects. I've had miscellaneous bugs, 2 termite king/queens, 1 flying ant, 2 ants and several tiny flies come by my apartment so far; and I've only been staying here for a month. I've also bought a dehumidifier which sucks 8 litres of water a day and even tried rubbing alcohol (which kills the bugs but doesn't keep them away), and nothing works because I think they're feeding on the plastering now. Did you hire exterminators or did they just disappear eventually?

 

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Badly need help on this. I was a way for a week and locked my house shut (windows and bedoom doors) during this time. After I got back I noticed in the master bedroom, there are little grey patches on the ceiling. There are black bugs, very very small that I cant take a picture of, crawling on the ceiling and the walls. I had to move to another bedroom which was relatively better, but within a day I have noticed these bugs are in the entire apartment. The master bedroom is the worst. There is smell of dampness in the house and skin is now irritated and itchy due to the bugs.

Please suggest the quickest solution. I have spent a day to figure out something on my own. Bought mould killer from DIY (Tried baygon, it did not help). So plan to spray it in the entire apartment, one bedroom at a time. I will run vacuum over the walls and the ceilings too. Finally will put a new coat of paint (mould resistant and top quality). This will take at least a week.

Any suggestions are welcome.

The tiny wingless insects feed on the mold growing on the wall. I have written quite a bit about my experience with mold and insects in previous replies to others. I suggest the use of Borax solution (mix 2 tablespoon in one liter of warm water). Wet mop the entire wall to clean off any mold first. Change the solution often during the cleaning phase as the water will get very dirty. Once the wall is clean, you may wipe over one last time with clean borax solution and leave it to air dry. The borax residue will prevent mold from growing and thus wipe out the food source for the insect. Repeat the wet wipe once a month at least or until the problem goes away. As the ceiling is very hard to reach, I would use a paint roller moisten with borax solution to roll over the ceiling to maintain a layer of borax crystals on the ceiling surface. You can do this to the upper part of the wall also.

You cannot buy borax powder in Singapore as they are controlled to prevent food manufacturers adding it to the food like noddles and dumpling illegally. I buy them from US websites instead. Don't cost much.

Don't vacuum the mold unless you have a true HEPA vacuum cleaner as they will just blow spores out of the exhaust to other parts of your house. The mold can cause a bad allergic reaction if they are inhaled, such as itch or asthma.

Control the mold early as once they become widespread in the house, it is very very hard to control. The spores find its way into your clothes, curtains, books, furniture, false ceiling, leather, wall paper or anything that the mold can feed on.

If your neighbour beside you or above you is in the habit of switching on their air con full blast for the whole day, it will make your side of your wall/ceiling cool. The coolness will cause moisture to condense on it and promote mold growth. Of course if you also switch on air con on your side of the wall, the condensation problem goes away. If you cannot keep up with your neighbour's air con hours, there is only one solution...go talk to them about your condensation problem on your wall/ceiling.

Edited by Topspin
 

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Blue skies, you have experience with these bugs? Did you have a problem with mould previously?

I've aired my kitchen as much as possible, but I usually keep the windows closed at night because Punggol is teeming with insects. I've had miscellaneous bugs, 2 termite king/queens, 1 flying ant, 2 ants and several tiny flies come by my apartment so far; and I've only been staying here for a month. I've also bought a dehumidifier which sucks 8 litres of water a day and even tried rubbing alcohol (which kills the bugs but doesn't keep them away), and nothing works because I think they're feeding on the plastering now. Did you hire exterminators or did they just disappear eventually?

Yup the bugs in my house came about because of mould on my walls (external wall was leaking and management had to fix it). After the leakage was solved, we repainted the walls (sealant for both internal and external wall, then anti mould paint for interior wall) and the bug problem went away.

Topspin's idea about the Borax solution sounds very good. I think it's worth a try.

But you should also try to figure out the source of your mould problem. If it's the external walls (e.g. water leakage / seepage / dampness) that's causing the mould to grow, you need to fix that problem otherwise no matter what you do, the bugs will come back after a while. And any problems with the external wall, if you are living in HDB, will be up to HDB to rectify.

Edited by blue_skies
 

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Yup the bugs in my house came about because of mould on my walls (external wall was leaking and management had to fix it). After the leakage was solved, we repainted the walls (sealant for both internal and external wall, then anti mould paint for interior wall) and the bug problem went away.

Topspin's idea about the Borax solution sounds very good. I think it's worth a try.

But you should also try to figure out the source of your mould problem. If it's the external walls (e.g. water leakage / seepage / dampness) that's causing the mould to grow, you need to fix that problem otherwise no matter what you do, the bugs will come back after a while. And any problems with the external wall, if you are living in HDB, will be up to HDB to rectify.

I heard Borax is effective, but it'd require importing it. I'm quite certain my house is mould free, because I bought a really powerful dehumidifier (the most powerful home-use one I could find) and switched it on for a long time in the kitchen; eventually I had to resort to a pyrethrin-based insecticide, which seems to work and is thankfully not as toxic as baygon or any of the other insecticides we use. If they persist in coming back though, I'll have to get a proper, expensive fumigation; and I'm already broke enough as it is with the renovation and all :(

 

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I heard Borax is effective, but it'd require importing it. I'm quite certain my house is mould free, because I bought a really powerful dehumidifier (the most powerful home-use one I could find) and switched it on for a long time in the kitchen; eventually I had to resort to a pyrethrin-based insecticide, which seems to work and is thankfully not as toxic as baygon or any of the other insecticides we use. If they persist in coming back though, I'll have to get a proper, expensive fumigation; and I'm already broke enough as it is with the renovation and all :(

Hi Kerio, mind to share what is the powerful dehumidifier you got? I am also having problem with mould esp at my kitchen cabinet. Thank you…

 

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Hi Kerio, mind to share what is the powerful dehumidifier you got? I am also having problem with mould esp at my kitchen cabinet. Thank you…

Hi Yumiko,

Sure, this is the one I bought:

nd690details.jpg

NOVITA Dehumidifier ND 690

Description:

Powerful & Effectual

NOVITA Dehumidifier ND 690 is the largest capacity unit in the range that efficiently removes up to 50 litres of water per day. Covering areas up to 900 sq ft or 83 m2, it is ideal for use in spacious areas of the home and also for industrial use. Equipped with an electronic LCD display, ND 690 is easy to operate with just a simple touch on the soft key. You will also be delighted with other features like the convenient easy-roll castors, in-built pre-filter screen and continuous drainage option. With the powerful & effectual ND 690, excessive moisture will never be a problem again! "

This dehumidifier cost me $899, but I think if you're just aiming for the kitchen, a smaller one should be sufficient, though the prices will still range from $200+ upwards.

It seems to be quite effective, though like I said, I never had a mould problem. One recommendation I saw is to wipe all infected cupboards with a strong mixture of dettol and water before dehumidifying. Alternatively, you can try getting rubbing alcohol (I found it in a chinese medicine shop) and after wiping the cupboards, spraying it with the rubbing alcohol.

 

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Hi Yumiko,

Sure, this is the one I bought:

nd690details.jpg

NOVITA Dehumidifier ND 690

Description:

Powerful & Effectual

NOVITA Dehumidifier ND 690 is the largest capacity unit in the range that efficiently removes up to 50 litres of water per day. Covering areas up to 900 sq ft or 83 m2, it is ideal for use in spacious areas of the home and also for industrial use. Equipped with an electronic LCD display, ND 690 is easy to operate with just a simple touch on the soft key. You will also be delighted with other features like the convenient easy-roll castors, in-built pre-filter screen and continuous drainage option. With the powerful & effectual ND 690, excessive moisture will never be a problem again! "

This dehumidifier cost me $899, but I think if you're just aiming for the kitchen, a smaller one should be sufficient, though the prices will still range from $200+ upwards.

It seems to be quite effective, though like I said, I never had a mould problem. One recommendation I saw is to wipe all infected cupboards with a strong mixture of dettol and water before dehumidifying. Alternatively, you can try getting rubbing alcohol (I found it in a chinese medicine shop) and after wiping the cupboards, spraying it with the rubbing alcohol.

Thanks Kerio for sharing this...I hope your booklice problem resolve soon.

Yesterday the carpenter came to check the mouldy cabinet, he cant do much on it, but just to seal the gap between the wood joint with silicone. I am not sure whether it works for mold growth prevention or to solve the root cause, but what can we do? I will be getting a small dehumidifier for the kitchen.

 

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Thanks Kerio for sharing this...I hope your booklice problem resolve soon.

Yesterday the carpenter came to check the mouldy cabinet, he cant do much on it, but just to seal the gap between the wood joint with silicone. I am not sure whether it works for mold growth prevention or to solve the root cause, but what can we do? I will be getting a small dehumidifier for the kitchen.

but dehumidifier is only useful if you keep all your windows and door shut... you can't do this for 24/7, rite?

 

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but dehumidifier is only useful if you keep all your windows and door shut... you can't do this for 24/7, rite?

For me, I'll open the doors and windows in the kitchen only when I'm cooking; after which I'll close them and dehumidify the place. It may not be a perfect solution, but given Singapore's high humidity and temperature, it's the cheapest solution (next to air-conditioning the kitchen).

Based on the humidity readings on my dehumidifier, the humidity outside ranges from 55 to 60 everyday, and when my wife opens the door while the dehumidifier is working, I can see the humidity shoot from 30 to 50 in a matter of seconds. Good thing is, once the door is closed, the humidity goes back to 30 also within a matter of seconds.

One bad thing is that the dehumidifiers expel warm air, so the kitchen will become very hot after a while, which may render some dehumidifiers inoperative temporarily (like mine, it stops dehumidifying once it hits 35 degrees celsius).

 

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