With the colder weather we’re often asked…Why are my windows, walls and furniture damp and mouldy?
Quite simply it’s because there’s too much water vapour in the air. Water vapour is warm… you may recall in physics that heat is attracted to cold… so the warm water vapour is attracted to cold surfaces where it condenses and makes things damp, in turn the damp is a growing ground for mould spores that are in the air.
In our strive to become more energy efficient we’ve stopped the draughts with more energy efficient windows and doors, we live inside more, shower or bath every day, dry our clothes inside. And all of this is on top of the moisture that we create by being alive… did you know that each person creates 4 pints of moisture a day! We’ve just created the perfect environment for mould to grow in. Those little spores which are present in the air just love damp areas to grow in and if it’s on walls or ceilings or areas with little air flow like behind beds and wardrobes then all the better…did you know that all new homes have to pass an airtightness test.
What’s the answer?... ventilate and heat your home!
Keep your heating on tick over so that the fabric of your home… that’s the walls and ceilings keep warm and don’t yoyo from hot to cold. Ventilate your home… ensure that extractor fans are working and used, window trickle vents are open and windows are cranked open a bit when you’re cooking, bathing or showering. If your windows and frames are streaming with water…wipe them! If you do see mould forming anywhere clean it off and kill it with one of the many proprietary brand anti mould sprays.
What else can I do?... Good loft and wall insulation helps avoid cold spots for the Water vapour to condense on. Use anti mould paints in bathrooms and kitchens.
And if all else fails, take a look at a “Positive Input ventilation system” which can be fitted into lofts and outside walls or ducted to outside walls making them ideal for flats. They work by gently introducing fresh, filtered air into the home ensuring that old, contaminated moisture-laden air is continuously diluted, displaced and replaced with good quality air. The result is improved air quality and a healthy living environment in which condensation cannot exist.