A common and frankly annoying problem which we all seem to experience at one point in our lives is black mould. But is there anything we can do to prevent it?
So how exactly does mould occur?
Mould grows by condensation and it is a warning that your heating, structural insulation or ventilation may need to be altered and improved. Condensation occurs when warm moist air meets a cold surface.
If you provide some ventilation to each room so the moisture can escape whilst keeping your property warm then this should help somewhat. The risk of this happening depends on how moist the air is and how cold the surfaces of your rooms are.
It is common that some properties will suffer from condensation, with walls, ceilings and even floors damp and discoloured often with mould growing on the surfaces. The problem becomes most apparent in winter when buildings become cold and windows are opened less, with moist air being unable to escape.
Condensation will frequently occur for short periods in both the kitchen and bathroom because of the steamy atmosphere. It can also occur for long periods in unheated bedrooms. Similarly, it may occur where ventilation and movement of air are restricted.
What should I do if I already have black mould?
This will need to be cleaned with bleach or an anti-fungicide solution. Additionally, if the window reveals are redecorated you may consider adding in some anti-fungicide solution in with the paint. Before this is applied to the walls to prevent future black mould.
How can you prevent it?
The main thing you need to ensure is good ventilation.
If there is an extractor fan then make sure you use it! Open the windows but keep the door closed as much as possible to prevent moisture spreading to other rooms.
After showering or bathing it is important to keep the bathroom window open and shut the door, so you can dry the room out and prevent moisture spreading further.
Older houses will experience a lot of ventilation through fireplace flues and draftee windows. These issues don’t tend to occur in modern builds.
One issue with ventilation in winter is the cold weather! This can be uncomfortable and wastes heat. However, a window only needs to be opened about 10mm and this will be sufficient.
Avoid using portable paraffin or flue less gas heaters. Plus, do not use unventilated airing cupboards for drying clothes.
It is also important to keep the heating on a low temperature whilst you are at work so the house remains a constant temperature and avoids damp and mould from forming.
Things to remember:
-Provide some ventilation to all rooms so that moist air can escape.
-Keep your property reasonably warm.