The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Avoiding Condensation and Mould

close up of condensation on a windowWe all know that mould can seriously damage both the looks and integrity of your home. It will discolour walls and floors, seep into grout lines, ruin furnishings, affect plasterwork and rot wood. But it is not just the your home that is at risk, mould spores can also affect the health of those living in your home. It is medically proven that mould can affect those with asthma and can cause lung and throat problems. Mould can also cause your home to smell musty and oppressive. Not a nice combination.

So where does all this mould come from? Well, the obvious answer is damp and condensation. You will notice that parts of the house with damp problems such as kitchens and bathrooms are also more likely to be affected by mould. It is also possible that the condensation is coming from the outside of your home. A permanently damp wall, perhaps affected by a leaky overflow, will eventually work its way into the interior wall. In addition, dampness seeping up from the ground can also leave the way open to mould growing within walls and under floorboards or carpets.

When it comes to mould the best way to deal with it is to stop the source of the condensation. The following ideas might help.

  • Never dry your washing indoors unless you keep windows open.
  • Avoid bottled gas heaters.
  • Leave windows open in bathrooms and kitchens when in use and keep doors closed to prevent steam getting to other parts of the house.
  • Place wardrobes against internal walls and ensure that the contents are not packed too tightly.
  • Keep furniture away from external walls.
  • Invest in good insulation, draft-proofing and double glazing.
  • Try to heat all rooms equally and leave on a low setting constantly during cool weather.
  • Check all outside walls for any signs of damp and treat the cause as soon as possible.
  • Make sure all wall vents are in the open position and are not blocked from the outside.
  • If you think you might need damp-proofing, get an expert in to check for damp in your walls and floors. Get at least three quotes before agreeing to any work as this is an expensive process.

If you have mould you need to remove it carefully. Wear a mask and wipe down the affected areas with a fungicide cleaner. These are available from most DIY stores. Furnishings will need to be dry-cleaned and carpets will need shampooing.

It is possible to buy anti-mould paints to cover the affected areas – but this is pointless if you have not treated the cause first. You will need to strip back the wallpaper to the plaster and treat the whole area.

Mould is certainly unsightly and difficult to treat, but not only will your health improve if you tackle it, but your home will smell nicer and look great.