Many homes across England and in particular Brighton suffer with dampness and mould and mildew from condensation. From some of the older victorian properties along grand parade to some of the new builds seen around Preston park, mould can become an irritating problem.
What causes mould?
Mould is a microscopic organism that requires the following to grow:
Any organic material (for example, wood or paper)
Mould usually destroys whatever it grows on as it gradually digests it. Mould also releases tiny spores that can travel through the air; these spores often have mycotoxins and allergens attached to them. It is the mycotoxins and allergens that can affect our health and cause allergic reactions.
Regardless of your property type, if you are suffering with mould and damp, the primary cause is excess moisture. This excess moisture can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames.
In newer homes, damp can be as a result of water used when building if it is still drying out – for example, in the plaster on the walls.
In newer properties excess moisture is often caused by condensation, this can be as a result of inadequate ventilation, drying of clothes indoor and even open lid fish tanks which cause a higher volume of water to evaporate into the air.
The signs of damp and mould in these cases is often seen around surfaces where there is a temperature differential, such as cold windows, air vents, or structural gaps where colder air flows in.
When you know what's causing the damp, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air. You may need to get a professional to remove mould for you, but if it's only a small amount you may be able to remove it yourself.
What types of mould are seen in Brighton
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.
Treating mould effectively
Protect yourself from mould spores by wearing goggles, long rubber gloves and a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Open the windows but keep doors closed to prevent spores spreading to other areas of the house.
If you have soft furnishing that can be washed in the washing machine, these items can be taken from the area and machine washed, ideally on a hot wash if the fabrics can tolerate this.
Walls affected by mould can be washed down with highly effective formulas available from most shops, Asda in Brighton Marina along with Waitrose on Western road and Sainsbury's on London
Road all stock the highly affective Dettol mould and mildew remover. This product is the number one product we turn to at Fixers when our handymen are asked to respond to mould problems.
How can I prevent mould?
Check to see if your windows are allowing rain to seep in
Always make sure that you dry wet areas immediately. Wipe up spillages and make sure to dry floors and walls after you take a bath or shower.
A good way to monitor humidity in your home is through a moisture meter, Ideally, humidity should be between 30 and 60 percent.
Leaks are commonly caused by broken pipes. Make sure to inspect the exterior of your house regularly.
Finally, it is important to let air circulate through your home. Keep internal doors open as much as possible and move the furniture away from walls. Open windows on dry days to let fresh air blow into your home, which will reduce moisture and therefore help to prevent mould.
Condensation damp occurs as a direct result of poor or inadequate ventilation, and once the ventilation issue has been remedied, the condensation and mould should no longer appear. The usual first signs of condensation appear around the window frames as the excess moisture in the property is trying to escape.
For many of the modern flats within Brighton and Hove, the problem of mould is caused by inadequate ventilation which can only really viably be fixed with a air handling unit, which are fitted in many but not all new builds.
These systems deliver a constant extraction of damp air, exchanging the heat across to the new air from outside and draining any moisture in the process. These systems are highly effective but relatively expensive to retro fit.
Black Mould Removal
You should be especially careful when dealing with black mould. Black mould is a dangerous fungus also known as Stachybotrys Chartarum and is increasingly common in houses, appearing not just in bathrooms, but in bedrooms and around windows and even on floors and clothes.
If you do have black mould growing or starting to grow in any areas of your home, get rid of it immediately and then get rid of the source of moisture. If you find a colony of toxic mould, it is very important that you do not disturb it. Touching or moving the mould can cause an enormous amount of harmful spores to be released in the air, to the detriment of you and others in your home.