Damp and mould: how to deal with it

Written on 2 February 2018 by Giles Cook in Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, damp and mould affects many homes at this time of year. We receive an unfair amount of rain and bad weather here in the UK, making such problems almost inevitable. Thankfully, there are ways you can prevent mould from invading your property. However, if you don’t manage to keep mould under control – we all have busy lifestyles, after all – don’t worry, the removal process is relatively simple.

House Wall Drops Damp Window Rain Water Glass

Damp and Mould Prevention 

In the first instance, you should take steps to prevent damp and mould. Then you won’t have to deal with the pesky task of having to remove it later. Seeing as mould thrives in damp conditions, your first port of call should be to prevent dampness in your home.

1. Pay special attention to your bathroom and kitchen 

Areas such as your bathroom and kitchen are particularly susceptible to dampness. Moisture builds up whenever you take a shower or cook. So, be sure to dry all surfaces, windowsills, walls and ceilings whenever you notice condensation gathering.

2. Fix any structural problems in your home 

Structural problems which allow water to enter your home could encourage mould. Therefore you need to repair any roof damage as soon as possible. Also, ensure that all of your windows and doors are sealed properly. Finally, fix any cracks in walls or ceilings to prevent water from seeping through.

3. Reduce the level of humidity 

A humid environment provides the perfect conditions for mould to grow in. Hence, you need to make sure that your home has sufficient ventilation. Plus, any appliance that uses or produces water, such as a tumble dryer, needs to have a ventilation system that expels the moisture outdoors.

Mould Removal 

If, for some reason, you haven’t been able to prevent mould from rearing its ugly head in your home, then you need to know how to get rid of it, too. Do the job properly and the mould won’t come back.

1. Assess the damage 

As a general rule, if you’re simply dealing with a small patch of mould (less than one square metre), you can handle the clean-up yourself.  If the problem is more extensive then you should call in help. When assessing the damage, get to the source of the problem. Where is the damp coming from? If you repair the problem area first, the mould is less likely to return.

2. Remove the mould 

To protect yourself, you should wear goggles, rubber gloves and a mask. The mould removal process itself is relatively simple. Use water and detergent and scrub the affected area vigorously. That should remove the mould.

3. Repair the damage 

Finally, you need to make sure the area is completely free of mould and is perfectly dry, in order to prevent the mould from returning. You may want to repaint an area that has been affected by mould afterwards – you can’t simply paint over mould as it just doesn’t work, the paint will begin to peel and flake off. Larger repairs may be required such as replacing flooring or drywall. 

Damp and mould may be unpleasant problems, but overall, they’re not too difficult to deal with. Don’t forget that taking the right measures to prevent mould from occurring in the first place is always best. Then hopefully you won’t have to get to the clean-up and repairs stage.

Giles Cook

Giles joined Best Gapp as Partner Designate and Head of Residential Agency, bringing over 20 years’ experience to the firm. Following a three-year stint as an Area Director for Foxtons, he went on to head up Chestertons’ sales and lettings operations in central London, before becoming a Partner at top Knightsbridge boutique WA Ellis.

All articles by Giles Cook


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