Problems with damp and mould
Dampness, condensation and mould growth in the home is a common problem, especially in older buildings.It can cause mould on walls and furniture and lead to rot in timber window frames and floors.
It can encourage the growth of house dust mites and increase the risk of respiratory illness.
Causes of damp
Before you can treat damp and mould in your home, you will need to find out what is causing it.
Dampness can be caused by:
- Condensation. This is the most common cause of damp homes
- Penetrating damp. This is when rainwater gets in due to leaks in pipes, roofs, walls and windows
- Rising damp. This is when moisture enters from the ground through the walls and floor.
If you have penetrating or rising damp, you may need to employ a contractor to carry out works. If you rent your property, you should contact your landlord.
They will need to find out what the problem is and arrange to get it fixed. If they refuse to carry out works you can contact us for advice. If the dampness is not caused by penetrating or rising damp, then it is most probably due to condensation.
Follow these three steps to help prevent condensation in your home:
- Produce less moisture (for example do not dry clothes on radiators, do not leave kettles boiling)
- Ventilate your home (for example keep your windows slightly open, close kitchen and bathroom doors when they are in use)
- Insulate, draught proof and heat your home (for example insulate your loft, draft proof around external doors and windows).
To kill and remove mould you should:
- Wipe down walls and window frames with either a weak bleach solution or a fungicidal wash, which is available from most DIY shops
- Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets.
Avoid disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning as it can make existing respiratory problems worse.
After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint. This helps prevents mould re-occurring.