If you own your own home or rent one out to tenants, preventing damp and mould should be high on your priority list. These issues are a threat to health and can quickly creep up on a property, making the affected rooms unliveable.
So, what exactly is damp and how does it develop?
Damp is usually caused by condensation. Excess moisture from bathrooms and kitchens can result in a damp problem if there is no adequate way to deal with the moisture when it first forms. Roofing defaults can also cause rainwater to seep down into the walls and ceilings of upper rooms, if not dealt with quickly enough.
Patches of black mould may develop within days or weeks of a damp patch forming. This should not be ignored, as it can irritate your respiratory system and make certain conditions like asthma and allergies flare up.
The term “prevention is better than cure” has never been more accurate! Opening a window when showering or cooking is one simple way to stop humidity building.
Windows alone aren’t always enough, of course. Install extractor fans to remove moisture from rooms. Ideally, every bathroom should have an extractor fan and a kitchen should have an oven with a decent one built into it.
When you are choosing an extractor fan, be careful to select the right one. If your bathroom is particularly large, is used for multiple showers in a short space of time each day or is north-facing and that little bit chillier, consider a larger extractor fan. If your bathroom doesn’t fit these criteria, a smaller extractor fan will probably suffice!
The temperature of your home can also affect whether a damp problem develops or not. If you go for too long in the colder months without using the heating, condensation is more likely to develop. When the surfaces are cold due to a lack of heating but then suddenly hit by a burst of humidity from cooking or showering, condensation results.
If you can at least run your heating on low for a while each day and not make any temperature changes that are too sudden, this should help with damp prevention.
How to remove mould
If the worst has already happened and there’s mould on your walls, how can you prevent it?
Most homeware stores and some supermarkets sell mould-killer sprays which you can use to treat the affected areas.
Though some people like to use home remedies to treat mould, this isn’t always easy to do safely and when treating porous surfaces such as walls, the home solution may not be enough to fully vanquish mould.
If you manage to successfully rid your walls and ceilings of mould, think about how you’re going to stop the problem from repeating itself. In rooms that typically get humid and steamy, you may be well-advised to repaint using a specific type of kitchen paint or bathroom paint. These paints are designed with mould, grease and steam-resistant properties!
If you’ve got a room (or for that matter, a whole house) on your hands that’s suffering from very extensive mould, it’s a good idea to avoid spending time in the affected area until the mould has been cleared up.
For big mould removal jobs, don’t be afraid to call out a professional to safely get your home back to a liveable condition!
Mould and damp problems are nobody’s idea of fun, but when you know what to do, they can easily be prevented.