Out With The Mould and In With The New…Fan!

So I thought it would be fitting for me to write the DIY posts about our Old House, since I am the one doing the DIY projects! By this sentence alone you will now realise that this is Seth talking and not my amazingly beautiful and talented wife, because she sucks at DIY so it’s a good thing she’s not writing about it.

I thought I could give you some “How To” tips for some of the projects that I have done. But it must be stated, I am in no way saying my way is the right way. In most cases I could be talking a load of poop, but it usually works and the house hasn’t burned down or crumbled…  Yet.

Anyways, we have been struggling with mould before and ever since we took over Cindy’s childhood home. The bathroom ceiling just ate up every bit of moisture that touched it and has formed a disgusting grey layer of mould all over it. When we first moved in there were actually little creatures which crawled all over the ceiling and lived off the stuff – SIES!  And so, in a desperate attempt and with very little time, I just painted over it. That lasted for maybe a year. 3 years after that, the grey mould monster was back and in full force – minus the creatures (yey!).

It did make us very worried though. It had to be doing something to the air and it may be the reason why all our children had recurring chest infections…

Yeah, guilty… But hey this is a post of how we fixed it! This thing took me a few weeks, because as you can imagine with 3 rascals and 2 dogs, free time (in which I feel like doing DIY) is not all that attainable.

Step 1:

First off, you need to buy some stuff.  (WOOHOO a visit to the hardware store!)

  • Mould killer – You can be awesome and make your own organic non toxic green humane and fur free cleaner, but I didnt have time
  • Rags
  • Protective clothing (mask, goggles, gloves and I threw in an old tracksuit as well)
  • Paint (preferably one that fights mould)
  • Painting stuff (I mean brushes and trays and plastic etc.)
  • An extractor fan (was on special at Builders Warehouse for R180)
  • Pencil and string
  • Nail
  • Hack Saw/Jig saw/Key hole saw/Pad saw / Steak knife.

“Safety first” as those safe people say. Not me! I started with my bare hands and exposed eyes and lungs – because I am a man, it was 7 o’clock at night, and I was fed up with sick children. So I got stuck in! 5 minutes of spraying the ceiling with the mould buster had me coughing and eyes watering. Needless to say I ran away and got kitted out. I couldn’t find my awesome gas mask and goggles, so I opted for 3D glasses and a cheep previously used mask.



Step 2:

I closed the bathroom door (Kiddies were in the house), opened the windows and sprayed the crap out of the ceiling. Left it for 30 min (as instructed on the bottle – if you’re using fur free organic cleaner I can’t help you). Then I gave it a good scrubbing – Look at the difference!

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Step 3:

I then sprayed the ceiling again. After which I was sweating like a pig in my unbreathable outfit and had dead arms. So I took a 40 min break while the Mould-buster did its thing. I then just dabbed the areas that where dripping with the stuff and left it on. This would give it some good time to work its magic and dry out for painting.


Step 4:

Skip hospital week with Knox and I was back in it, this time I found my goggles and gas mask! Now if you have mould, it means there is probably something wrong with your house, and it is probably a lack of ventilation. We have one small open-able window, which when closed (because Cindy gets cold when she showers, because we don’t have a enclosed shower) makes the room thick with fog. So thick that water drips off the ceiling. If she showered for any longer, I’m sure there would be  thunder and lighting as well. So I bought an extractor fan. You get them in all sizes (100mm – 300mm). I went for 300mm for the price of a 100mm!



I had to connect a wire to it which wasn’t included with this model (probably reason for the discount). I then ventured into the attic – I love being in the attic. It’s where men go when they mean business!

I vacuummed (vacuumed? Damn you Google spellcheck for not knowing) up the area where I thought the fan should go. Our ceiling is filled with roughly 50 years of dust due to a lack of underlay (plastic) under the tiles. I plan to vacuum it all up and add underlay one day. Although there is a plus side to not having it. It means the attic is naturally vented, which means no need for ducting, grilles and punching holes in walls or the roof for this fan (yey!). It can just extract into the attic.


The area I chose for the fan was directly above the shower, which centred with the light fitting (made sense to me). I measured the area to make sure about 340mm diameter was clear of any obstructions. I then popped a nail through the ceiling where the centre of the fan would be.

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Fashioning a string to a red toxic free koki (it was near by), I tied the string to the nail and measured it to make sure the string was 150mm long (half of 300). Then I drew a circle making sure the string was tort. It actually worked well.

2013 - 052

I then drilled a hole and started sawing the hole using my pad saw. For this part I wore my protective gear. Loads of saw dust raining down on my head. The ceiling fell down as planned, but the nail that I left in the board impaled my hand, as not planned. It wasn’t all that deep, so I was OK.


I fixed the fan in place, as instructed by the instruction manual, which for some reason I read. Went back into the attic and pushed the wire in the light fitting hole. I made sure the power was off at the mains.

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I then pulled the wire through just enough to meet the light fitting terminals. Connected them, switched the power back on and voilà!


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Sucked the toilet paper right off the roll! (No not really, I put it there to see if it would stay…)

I was pretty happy that the fan turned the right way the first time. The wire I used was not colour coded, so I could have easily turned this extractor fan into a cooling fan. If that did happen, I would have switched the wires at the light fitting terminals and the fan would have spun the correct way.

That night I showered with the window and door closed and…  No fog or even a crack of lightning!

Now just to paint it! (Picture to be added when I eventually do it.)

4 thoughts on “Out With The Mould and In With The New…Fan!

  1. lol – had a good chuckle at this one. Well done! For future (which of course will be never, since your extractor fan is doing the job so well) you can used straight bleach in a spray bottle (just spray, don’t scrub, as the spores get squashed into the ceiling) and get the same effect as the special mould buster stuff 🙂

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