When a property has damp, there are usually a number of signs that can alert the homeowner. One of these is the presence of visible green or black patches of mould on walls. These patches are more than just an eyesore: in fact, mould spores can be worse for your health than smoking.
Needless to say, if you find mould on your walls then you cannot afford to disregard it. Mould can lead to several health problems, including throat and skin irritation, respiratory illnesses and allergic reactions.
While you might think that you can simply wipe away any mould you see, this will not remove the spores that have penetrated your walls. If you think that using bleach is the solution, think again: not only will bleach fail to remove the spores, but the water within the bleach will penetrate your walls, leading to even more mould growth! You should also realise that removing mould will not remove your problem. To do that, you will have to find and treat the cause.
To remove mould from your walls, your best course will be to speak to a qualified local damp proof specialist about booking a mould removal service . As well as being able to stop the mould on your walls, a specialist will also be able to identify its cause and make sure that it cannot return. Depending on the cause, you could also require other services, such as extractor fan installation, brickwork repointing or sealing and re-grouting. If this is the case, be sure to hire a qualified tradesman to undertake the work. If done incorrectly, many damp solutions can actually make the problem worse.
The best way to remove mould from your walls will be to use a specialist anti-microbial spray. Again, you should not use bleach for this, as not only will it fail to kill the mould spores, but it can also encourage their growth. Be sure to follow the instructions for your selected product carefully and pay close attention to the safety guidelines.
Having said that, the only way to truly stop mould on walls will be to tackle the source. The best way to go about this will depend on the root cause of your mould.
‘Rising damp’ is typically caused by a broken damp proof course (DPC), or the lack of one in the walls of a property. If this is the cause o your mould, then you may have spotted damp patches or discoloured plastering in the lower parts of the walls on your ground floor. Typically, these signs will not rise higher than around 1.2m.
Luckily, rising damp treatment can be a fairly simple problem to treat. A damp proof specialist can inject a specialist chemical compound into your walls to solve the issue. However, depending on the damage that has been done you may also want to hire a plasterer or painter to make your walls pristine again.
If the mould on your walls is higher than around 5ft, your problem could be caused by ‘penetrating damp’. This usually occurs when the walls of a property are not completely weatherproof. For example, old bricks could be letting rainwater through, or your exterior walls could require brickwork repointing.
If your problem is indeed penetrating damp, then in addition to the mould on your walls you may also have noticed consistent cold temperatures even when your heating is on. Other signs include lingering stale or musty smells, as well as flaking or powdery paintwork.
To repair penetrating damp, a specialist will usually recommend an exterior wall coating treatment.
One of the biggest causes of damp is a lack of ventilation. Mould hates fresh air, and a lack of it can encourage mould growth.
A lack of ventilation will usually be the cause of mould or mildew growth in a bathroom, which is the room in the house which is typically exposed to the most moisture. If you have mould in your bathroom, one of the best treatments will be an extractor fan installation/ repair service. However, be sure to have a qualified bathroom fitter or electrician install your unit, as any gaps left in the walls will invite mould to return.
Another common cause of mould in bathrooms is poorly sealed tiles. Luckily, mould on tiles can be cleaned away with bleach, as tiles are waterproof. However, if the grout between the tiles has worn away, then the walls behind them will still be vulnerable to damp. In this case, the best way to stop the mould will be to book a sealing and regrouting service with a qualified local tiler.
Of course, you can also improve ventilation in your bathroom by leaving your windows open from time to time! The same goes for other typically damp rooms, such as kitchens.