- Damp is caused by a fault in the home through water coming in from the outside, or rising damp.
- Mould growth is usually a consequence of too much moisture in the air (condensation.) This can be a result of poor insulation, inadequate heating, or air being unable to circulate around all parts of the home.
- Condensation is caused by excess moisture indoors. It forms when the air containing moisture cannot hold anymore water and it reverts back to its liquid state.
Through minor adjustments to your daily routine, you can easily prevent condensation build-up and mould growth. These can can have a huge benefit in the long term and increase your overall home health.
This guide will explain the difference between damp and mould, and provide tips on how to prevent mould growth. Where mould is present in your home, you’ll find instructions below on how you can safely remove it.
Leaking pipes, rising damp on ground floors, or water seeping in due to roof damage, outside brickwork, or damaged window frames can cause damp and mould in the home.
Additionally, the warmer your home, the more moisture that can be held in the air. When the air is holding too much of this moisture and can’t hold any more, water droplets form on the colder surfaces.
Cooking, showering, and drying clothes indoors without adequate air circulating (for example, opening windows, etc.) can cause excess moisture. Droplets can form on indoor surfaces such as mirrors, windowsills, furniture, in cupboards and on walls, particularly when they’re cold.
Mould spores will eventually begin to grow on these surfaces if this water is not wiped away.
You can prevent the build-up of condensation by:
- Frequently emptying the water in your tumble dryers, putting lids on saucepans when cooking, and drying washing outside;
- Opening bedroom windows for 15 minutes each morning, allowing air to circulate and keeping your trickle vents open on your windows if you have them;
- Keeping your home is well insulated (please contact us if you feel that it is not);
- Heating your home at constant level (between 19 – 21c), allowing air to circulate around the home by leaving doors open slightly (unless you’re cooking or showering!);
- Opening the window, putting the extraction fan on and closing the door of the room being used if you are cooking, showering, or bathing.
Extraction fans are designed to work for several minutes even after being switched off, some even remain on at all times to provide a background ventilation. This is important as moisture will remain in the air after bathing or showering. If repairs have been carried out to fix leaks, heating and ventilating the rooms effects may still be needed for a few weeks afterwards to dry out any remaining water. You can always contact us if you’d like some more advice on how best to do this.
Try to avoid placing furniture right up against walls because this makes it difficult for air to circulate and encourages mould to grow (even on your furniture and inside your cupboards on clothes.)
You can safely remove mould in your home by doing the following:
- Protect yourself from mould spores by wearing goggles, rubber gloves, and a mask that covers your nose and mouth;
- Have a plastic bag ready to take away any soft furnishings, clothes and soft toys that are mouldy. Shampoo soft furnishings and professionally dry clean your clothes;
- Open the windows but keep doors closed to prevent spores spreading to other areas of the house;
- Fill a bucket with water and cleaning product; there are many to choose at supermarkets;
- Using a cloth or sponge dipped in the water, carefully wipe the mould off the wall. Be careful not to use a brush on the mould as this can release mould spores. Use a dry cloth to remove the moisture from the wall afterwards, put the rags in a plastic bag and dispose of correctly. All the surfaces in the room should be thoroughly cleaned by either wet wiping or vacuuming to remove any spores.