Any home can be affected by damp and mould. Moisture from ordinary household activities such as cooking, washing and drying clothes can cause these problems, but there are things you can do to help stop it happening.
How does mould start?
Often, the whole process starts with condensation. Excess moisture in the home causes condensation which, if left, can lead to damp and mould. There are other reasons why mould occurs but condensation is likely to be the most common cause.
There’s always moisture in the air, even if you can’t see it.
If the air gets colder, it can’t hold all the moisture
and tiny drops of water appear on cold surfaces
such as windows. It also happens in areas where there’s less air movement, such as behind cupboards or in wardrobes.
This can lead to black spotted mould growth.
If your home is a new-build, damp can sometimes come from the water used during construction, for example plaster that’s still drying out.
Ways to reduce excess condensation in your home
- When cooking, reduce the amount of moisture in the air by covering pans and not letting kettles continuously boil.
- Avoid using paraffin or portable flueless bottled-gas heaters as they put a lot of moisture into the air.
- Put washing outdoors to dry if you can. If your only option is to dry your clothes inside, put them in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open, or with a fan on. If you have a tumble dryer, make sure you vent it to the outside (unless it’s the self-condensing type).
- Keep a small window ajar or a trickle ventilator open all the time if possible, especially when someone is in the room.
- Create ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom when cooking, washing up, bathing and drying clothes by opening windows wider or switching on a fan. If you don’t have a fan, contact us.
- Open cupboard and wardrobe doors to ventilate them, and leave space between the backs of wardrobes and the wall.
- Where possible, position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls, (walls which have a room on both sides, rather than against outside walls).
In cold weather, the best way to avoid condensation is to keep rooms as warm as possible, especially in rooms that are most likely to be affected by condensation. Use your thermostatically controlled radiator valves (TRVs) to control the heating in each room – this will help to reduce heating costs. If your radiators don’t have TRVs, then please contact us.
Insulation in the loft and cavity wall will help keep your home warm and reduce your fuel bills. If you feel your loft or cavity wall is not insulated sufficiently, then contact us.
If mould appears
If you see mould in your home, here’s what to do at first.
- Contact us immediately. We want to help.
- Wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash, which carries a Health and Safety Executive ‘approval number’. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely.
- Thoroughly wash mildewed clothes, and clean the carpets. Brushing or hoovering mould can disturb the particles and increase the risk of breathing problems.
- If you can, redecorate the area after you’ve removed the mould. It’s best to use a fungicidal paint. If you’re wallpapering, use a paste that contains fungicide to stop mould coming back. If redecoration is our responsibility, then please contact us.
Other causes of damp
As well as condensation in the home, damp can be caused by:
- Leaking pipes or overflows
- Rain seeping through the roof where a tile or slate is missing
- Blocked guttering, cracked or loose rainwater pipes
- Rising damp due to a defective damp course (which will create a yellow tide mark on internal walls).
To report damp or mould in your home, call us on 0345 345 0272 and choose options '1' then '3' or complete the form below.