Mould grows on damp surfaces. In most cases it is caused by condensation. This is moist air in the home from everyday things – such as cooking and showering – which settles on cold surfaces. Occasionally dampness may be caused by water getting into your home from leaking pipes, blocked guttering or an outside wall which needs re-pointing. Or it could be a combination of both of these things.
Condensation occurs when moist air hits a cold surface. This moist air condenses on cool surfaces such as walls, mirrors, tiles, windows and clothes leaving small drops of moisture. Look for it in corners, near windows, behind wardrobes, inside cupboards, on the ceiling or places where there is little movement of air.
Condensation occurs mainly during winter months and does not leave a ‘tide mark’. Condensation usually occurs at night when temperatures drop and doors and windows are closed. Even people breathing can cause condensation and this can cause damp where mould can grow.
If it seems like the cause of the mould may be dampness getting into your home from outside, we will send someone to investigate and then put right any problems that we find or help you tackle any mould growth from condensation. When you call us we will spend time with you on the phone discussing the problem and what might be causing it.
- Leaking pipes and waste overflows
- Rain seeping in where tiles or slates are missing
- Overflow from blocked gutters penetrating around window frames or leaking through cracked pipes
- Rising damp due to a defective damp-course or because there is no damp-course. Leaks and rising damp often leave ‘tide marks’ and only travel to about a meter up the wall without black mould growth. However, this only relates to rising damp & not leaks in general.
- Wipe it off immediately with water using a sponge or cloth
- Apply anti-fungicidal spray to the wall. Mould removers are available from DIY stores. Make sure that you read the instructions carefully before use and wear rubber gloves and a mask.
- Properly clean and remove the mould first then use a special fungicidal paint to help prevent it recurring.
- Dry clean clothes and shampoo carpets affected by mould.
- The only lasting way of avoiding mould is to eliminate dampness!
Open the windows in all rooms every day (at least 30 minutes) and wipe down any condensation on the windows.
Keep the trickle vents on your windows open at all times and don’t block any permanent air vents in the wall
Allow space for air to circulate around your furniture – at least 12.5cm. Position furniture and goods against internal walls.
Except for during and after bathing or showering, leave all the internal doors open to allow the air to circulate.
Keep the bathroom door closed. When you are finished, open the window or put the extractor fan on, and keep the door closed for at least 30 minutes.
Avoid long, steamy baths and showers. Put the cold water in first for a bath. Showers – many water companies suggest 4 minutes is sufficient.
When cooking, close the kitchen door and open a window or turn on your extractor fan, and put lids on all pans. Don’t leave kettles boiling.
Put washing outdoors to dry. If you have to dry clothes inside, put them on a rack by a window or in the bathroom, shut the door and open the window.
If you use a vented tumble dryer instead make sure you vent it properly to the outside, preferably through a permanent vent in the external wall; if you use a condenser tumble dryer, make sure you open the window and close the door to the room.
A low even heat for a long time is better than putting heaters on high for a short period. Try to avoid the temperature dropping under 15o
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