Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle Investor Tenants
Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle Investor Tenants

How to Avoid Mould

Written by Sarah Newton
Most homes and units will suffer from some degree of mould, especially as the colder months approach. It can range from a small patch of mould or discoloured wallpaper behind the wardrobe, to serious amounts of mould growth across walls and on furnishings. This makes it very important to take action and understand how to avoid the growth of mould.

One of the main causes of mould is condensation from high relative humidity in the air or too much water vapour or steam being generated through cooking, washing, bathing, showering and clothes drying. Other causes of mould are often due to a lack of ventilation and inadequate heating.

What is condensation?
Condensation occurs where moist warm air comes into contact with colder dryer air, or a surface, which is at a lower temperature.

Condensation is generally noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces but it can form on any surface and may not be noticed until mould growth or rotting of material occurs.

Conditions for condensation
The moisture in the air comes from a number of sources within the home. Water vapour is produced in relatively large quantities from normal day to day activities such as breathing, cooking, baths and showers, and washing clothes.

In certain areas of a house (such as bathrooms and kitchens) the warm air contains a lot of moisture, if the air then spreads to cooler parts of the house it condenses on any colder surface.

Our modern lifestyle means that many houses remain unoccupied and unheated throughout the greater part of the day, allowing the fabric of the building to cool right down. The moisture-producing activities are then concentrated into a relatively short time prior, producing large amounts of steam when the building structure is still relatively cold. The true cause of condensation-based mould growth is often complex and a combination of things. It is sometimes caused by inadequacies in the building but very often the main cause of mould growth is the lifestyle of the occupants.

How to avoid mould
• During and after a bath or shower the room should be ventilated to the outside, not to the rest of the house. If there is an extractor fan, turn it on or just by opening a window (and closing the door) will help.
• Dry clothes out of doors or in a cool area of the premises – this latter suggestion may sound strange, it will take longer but less moisture will be held in the air at any one time. While drying clothes indoors, make sure to ventilate the room to the outside. Dryers should have external air extraction. When people come in with wet coats, they should be hung outside to dry. Ensure shoes and clothes are dry before putting them away.
• Increase circulation of fresh air in your home by opening windows and doors, and leave them open for the whole day (if possible)
• Let the sun into the home by leaving blinds and curtains open
• Wipe away any visible moisture on walls or windows, keep the inside as dry as possible
• Don’t have too many indoor plants.
• When heating the home leave the blinds and curtains open as well as opening the windows at some stage so air can flow through.
• When taking a hot shower or bath ensure the exhaust fan is on, when finished open the bathroom window and allow the moisture to escape outside.
• When cooking ensure you turn on the range hood fan or exhaust fan and open the window.

Removing mould
The earlier you remove mould from walls and ceilings the easier it is to keep under control. It is harder to remove mould once it takes hold. Wash the mould with white vinegar and leave it for at least one week. This kills the mould spores, rather than just removing it from the surface allowing it to re-appear at a later date. After this wash the area with either exit mould or bleach based product suitable for the surface being washed. If using bleach mix it with three parts water.

If the property you currently occupy develops a serious mould problem then it is important to ensure that you notify the office and your property manager on 95240777

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