1. Condensation and mould in the home
By reducing condensation you can reduce the risk of mould growth and the feeling of dampness.
Condensation occurs mainly during cold weather. It appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air. Look for it in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and furniture. It often forms on north-facing walls.
These three steps will help you reduce the condensation in your home.
1. Produce less moisture
- cover pans and do not leave kettles boiling
- avoid using portable flueless bottled gas heaters as these heaters put a lot of moisture into the air
- avoid drying washing indoors or put it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan on
- vent any tumble dryer on the outside, unless it is the self-condensing type. DIY kits are available for this
2. Ventilate to remove moisture
- keep a small window ajar or a trickle ventilator open when someone is in the room
- ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use by opening the windows wider
- close the kitchen and bathroom doors when these rooms are in use, even if your kitchen or bathroom has an extractor fan
- ventilate cupboards and wardrobes. Avoid putting too many things in them as this stops the air circulating.
- cut a ventilation slot in the back of each shelf or use slatted shelves. Cut 'breather' holes in doors and in the back of wardrobes and leave space between the back of the wardrobe and the wall
- where possible, position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls
3. Heat your home
- in cold weather, keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home
Some words of warning:
- do not block permanent ventilators
- do not completely block chimneys
- do not draught proof a room where there is a cooker or a fuel burning heater, for example,a gas fire
- treat any mould you may already have in your home. You can do this by wiping down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash which carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number
- dry-clean mildewed clothes, and shampoo carpets. Disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning can increase the risk of respiratory problems
- after treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to stop the mould from coming back. Note that this paint is not effective if you go over it with ordinary paints or wallpaper
- deal with the basic problem of condensation to stop the mould from coming back
If you are unable to control the mould growth in your home, we can offer you advice and may be able to:
- arrange surveys by ventilation consultants
- arrange for extra ventilation using mechanical means ie extractor fans