The Winter months are arriving quickly, the morning and evening temperatures are changing, meaning you’ll be turning the heating on and creating the perfect environment for damp and mould to grow. Maybe it is just condensation? Or is it mould? Not sure? This blog post will help you to distinguish between what is mould and what is condensation.
What is condensation?
Condensation develops when moist air comes into contact with cold surfaces such as windows, walls and mirrors. Other dampness often gets worse during wet weather. Condensation forms in patches when the air can’t hold the moisture so tiny droplets of water appear. This is because the water vapour in the air comes from natural weather conditions and yourself. You may not be able to see it but it will be in your home. It’s only when the water vapour comes into contact with a cold surface that it causes trouble. Once in contact with a cold surface, the temperature of the water vapour can’t hold onto the water content and therefore drops onto the cold surface like a water droplet. These water droplets, which are then spotted on windows and walls, are condensation. If left to grow, condensation will create damp which will then turn into black mould.
Condensation can be Reduced by Following These Tips:
Ensure your roof space is ventilated.
Fit extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom.
Make sure your larger pieces of furniture have air circulation e.g. not being pressed right against the wall.
When using the bathroom, always keep the door shut during use, keep the door wide open including any bathroom windows when finished to let any steam out.
Try and dry your clothes outside if possible. If you’re drying your clothes inside, use a confined space which has lots of ventilation.
Stop using portable gas and paraffin heaters.
Wipe over cold surfaces.
What is Damp?
Dampness is a big problem for all different types of houses. A build-up of damp can lead to mould appearing on walls, corners and furniture. Additionally, it can attract the growth of dust mites and can increase the risk of respiratory illness. As well as damaging your health, it will also damage your decor such as wall plaster which could rot. Damp can also occur from any leaks in your roof or water pipes. It’s important to regularly check your house for any leaks to help give your home in good order.
What is Rising Damp?
Rising damp differs from condensation, although they may look the same. It’s caused by house bricks which are placed onto the damp ground and soak up water in an upward motion. It can also be caused by missing air bricks, crumbling brickwork and missing roof tiles. Bricks will carry the water until the gravity proves that it can’t carry on any further. This is normally at around 1.2 meters and then the damp levels will continue to build up in the infected area.
What is Black Mould?
Black mould is a term used to describe “Stachybotrys Chartarum” - a species of mould. Caused by poor ventilation and excessive moisture, black mould grows in suffering areas which have an excessive buildup of moisture within the air. The conditions are normally very humid and damp. The recognisable black fungus will spread if left untreated across surfaces such as paint, wallpaper, plaster, window sills, ceilings and shower tiles.
As well as health risks, black mould leaves a horrible lingering damp smell. There are different mould cleaning products which will help to clear away the mould such as mould sterilisers, although these are effective at removing the mould they won’t get rid of the root of the problem. To permanently erase the appearance of mould, you’ll need to improve the ventilation within your house. This can be done by using a dehumidifier or positive pressure ventilation unit.
Looking for cleaning products? Our Cirencester store stock a range of different cleaning products, perfect for getting rid of stubborn mould.