If you notice mould or mildew patches on any internal walls, ceilings or floors you should take action straight away.
You’re more likely to suffer respiratory problems or infections if you have damp, mould or mildew in your property. Moulds and mildews produce allergens and irritants and some can even produce toxins.
The structural integrity of your property can be compromised if the source of damp is not detected and fully fixed.
Causes of mould and mildew growth
The most common causes of damp conditions that allow mould and mildew to grow and thrive in your property are: –
- Condensation caused by warm, humid air meeting cold surfaces
- Damaged brickwork or ill fitting window or door frames
- Leaking pipework in a central heating, plumbing or drainage system
- Rising damp caused by an ineffective damp proof course (DPC)
Removal of mould and mildew
Although mould and mildew can be removed with products that can be purchased from most DIY stores you should always take precautions yourself. During the removal process the fungal spores can become airborne and could be inhaled. The inhalation of spores should always be avoided. Wearing rubber gloves, a dust mask that covers your nose and mouth and protective glasses or goggles is recommended.
[link to NHS page on mould and mildew spores]
Ventilate the room by opening windows. However, try to keep doors to other rooms closed as this will prevent spores from spreading to other parts of your property.
Use a damp cloth either with a mould killer product or a regular household detergent to clean the affected area. A gentle wiping action is best rather than a vigorous scrubbing or even brushing. This will reduce the likelihood of spores being released.
Finally, make sure the area is thoroughly dry and dispose of the cloth you’ve used in a plastic bag.
Warning: Do NOT attempt to remove mould or mildew if you think it’s caused by a sewage problem, or another source of contaminated water.
If you’re unsure about how to remove mould or mildew safely call us and one of our tradesmen can do it for you.
Finding the source of damp
- Leaks and weakness
If patches of mould or mildew are concentrated in a specific area this could be the sign of a leak, either in pipework or around window and doorframes, or a weakness in the external wall structure.
If this is the case and the source of the leak isn’t immediately obvious then one of our leak detection tradesmen is fully equipped and expertly qualified to find it. Our specialists use the latest high-tech, non-destructive techniques available to find the source of a leak quickly and efficiently.
[link to Leak Detection page] [link to gutter clearing page] [link to doors, windows and locks page]
- Condensation and humidity
Condensation is created when warm air with high moisture content comes into contact with a cold surface. The way to combat the problems caused by condensation is to firstly reduce the amount of moisture in the air and secondly increase levels of ventilation in your property.
[link to blog on reducing condensation]
- Rising damp
Additional steps to prevent mould and mildew from returning
Mould and mildew grow best in dark, humid conditions. They feed on organic matter. To prevent them from returning once you’ve removed them try to let as much light into the room as possible. Regular dusting and cleaning will also help. Washing any cotton or wool products, such as sheets, blankets and cushions is advised too.