How to tackle damp and mould
During the colder months it's possible that you'll start to notice more moisture in your home. This is because cold air can't hold as much water as warm air and this can lead to a build-up of moisture in your home. Daily tasks like boiling a kettle, drying clothes, or taking a shower will cause more condensation than usual.
When a home contains to much moisture this is known as damp. We want to avoid damp in our homes as this can lead to mould. When a home is affected by damp and mould, it can irritate respiratory problems like asthma, or trigger allergies. Damp and mould can also damage the structure of your home, so it's important to deal with it early.
Ventilating your home
Making sure clean, fresh air can flow freely around your home is one of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of damp.
If you have trickle vents above your windows, keep them open for as long as you can. They allow air which is full of moisture to leave your home and let fresh air back in.
Switch on your kitchen extractor fan while cooking on the hob, to help draw steam out of the room. It’s the same when taking a shower or bath- keep your window open slightly or switch your extractor fan on so that the moisture in the air is taken outside.
Try not to arrange furniture right in the corners of the room. Keeping big items like beds or sofas right up against the wall means that air can’t flow around them, and that’s exactly where damp or mould can start.
Dry your clothes on an airer, with the windows slightly open, or outside if you can (a bit tricky in the winter, we know!). Whatever you do, please don’t dry them on the radiator, as this is a sure-fire way of generating excess moisture in the air.
Could it be a leak?
If you’re keeping on top of ventilation in your home but you’re still finding damp, it could be due to a leak. Start by checking pipes and under sinks to see if there are any obvious leaks. It’s not always easy to tell, but other kinds of damp, such as rain or plumbing leaks will usually leave a tide mark. You should also look outside to see if there are any slates missing from the roof, cracked gutters or rainwater pipes.
Heating your home
Air can only hold a certain amount of water vapour, and the warmer it is, the more it can hold. If the air is cooled by contact with a cold surface, such as a mirror, window or a wall, the vapour will turn into droplets of condensation. So by keeping your home between 18 – 21 degrees all the time, you’re less likely to get condensation. However, due to the cost of energy at the moment, we know this may not always be possible.
How to get rid of mould
If you spot mould on your walls or ceiling, the first thing to do is to try and remove it yourself. You can buy specialist products from most supermarkets, which you’ll spray onto the mould and wipe off with a cloth. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using these products, as they can contain some very strong chemicals. There are some natural alternatives, like vinegar or baking soda mixes, but we can’t recommend them as they’re homemade.
Spotting damp and mould
Even if you’re doing all you can to prevent damp and mould from forming, it might still find its way into your home. Here are some signs to check for.
- Your walls feel cold and/or moist
- Windows are regularly covered in condensation, not just in the morning after a chilly night
- There’s discolouration on your walls
- Black marks are forming on the sealant between your tiles
- A musty, unpleasant smell
- Visible mould (green or black) on your walls, windows, or ceilings
- Flaking paint or peeling wallpaper
If you spot any of these signs in your home, it’s important to take steps to prevent the problem from growing.
If you have a manageable build-up of damp and mould, you’ll be able to remove it yourself using damp and mould cleaning products available from most supermarkets. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions with care.
If you notice that the mould won’t come off, it starts to spread, or returns, please contact us by completing our contact us form, or giving us a call.
Once an area is free of mould, try to stay on top of reducing moisture from returning to this area, as this is the best long term solution.