Mould is a problem that many of us have had to deal with in one form or another, living in a rainy country with often well-insulated homes. Considering mould's negative effects on our health, it's important to do everything you can to prevent its growth.
Especially now as the cost of energy bills have gone up, and people are likely to be more conscientious about heating their homes, it's important to understand that this cost-saving approach could lead to more mould growth if you're not careful. Prevention is always better than fixing a mould problem whenever possible, and damage due to damp may end up being more costly in the long run.
Cold air holds less water
Condensation happens when the air can't hold its moisture, and colder air can hold less moisture than warm air. This is why lowering the temperature in your home can increase your chances of a mould problem. Sources like the World Health Organisation and the UK Government website agree that the temperature in your home should range between 18-21 degrees. You should also try not to let it decrease below 15 degrees while you're away.
Send less moisture into the air
Small changes to your routine can reduce the amount of moisture going into the air in the first place. You may be aware of most of these, but they're worth repeating!
- Open windows periodically to ventilate
- Turn extractor fans on when you shower
- Cover pots with lids when you cook
- Avoid drying your clothes on a radiator or in an enclosed space
- Wipe condensation from windows
- Treat yourself to a plant or two that will remove moisture from the air, like a snake plant, palm, Boston fern, orchid, or English ivy
Making sure there is space between your furniture and the wall also helps to promote airflow, preventing a sneaky damp pocket where mould can grow.
Damp from condensation vs penetrating damp & rising damp
It's important to understand the difference between damp from condensation, and penetrating or rising damp.
Penetrating damp is caused by moisture coming into your property through issues like leaking pipework and blocked guttering. Rising damp is a sign of a problem with the damp course - a barrier designed to prevent water seeping in through the base of your property.
If you suspect either of these, report the problem immediately to your property manager or landlord if you rent, or call in a professional like Paramount Maintenance. Timing is of the essence!
How to get rid of mould
If you find yourself with mould growth in your property, we recommend cleaning it with Dettol Mould and Milder Remover. We've seen many products used in our time, and this has proven to be the most effective!
Make sure you've cleaned right down to the source of the mould growth to reduce chances of it growing right back, and always wear a mask to avoid inhaling spores. If the mould growth is on the walls or ceiling, we recommend sanding the damaged area down and treating the area with a mould-resistant paint - available in most hardware stores.
We understand that with higher energy costs this will be a balance. If you're planning to keep your home a little cooler this winter, make sure to pay extra attention to those activities that increase moisture in the air, and make sure to ventilate!