Want to get rid of Damp and Mould in your property?
“The house is damp.” This is perhaps the most common complaint landlords and agents receive.
Especially in Brighton and Hove area, where most of the old houses are made of Bungaroosh, a composite building material which involved placing miscellaneous materials, such as whole or broken bricks, cobblestones, flints, small pebbles, sand and pieces of wood, into hydraulic lime and shuttering it until it set. All of this makes damp easier to get into our houses, making Bungaroosh the perfect damp retainer.
Mould can be a serious problem not just because it looks bad, but also because of the health risks associated with mould spores. The mould fungi have been identified as the source of many health problems, including infections, asthma, allergies and sinusitis. Moulds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, toxins that may cause reactions in humans.
Leaks can often be a major cause of damp within a property leading to issues such as penetrating damp and wet rot.
Causes or sources of leaks:
- Examine down pipes and gutters within the affected area. Ensure that your drains and downpipes are not blocked. Rain water can very easily be backed up forcing itself out of a pipe joint within the affected area.
- Look for damage, cracks, faulty joints or seals.
- If the damp is below a flat roof, or a roof channel, check that the felt is sound.
- If the damp is below a window, check the window frame and window sill. Badly fitted windows can also let damp penetrate into a room.
- If the damp is localized around a chimney breast, check the flashing and tiles.
- If the damp is at the bottom of the walls and it’s the ground floor, it could be that the cause of damp is the result of your damp proof course being bridged resulting in rising damp.
Solutions to leaks:
The best solution with a leak is to deal with it rapidly, not just because you are paying for water to go to waste, also because it could damage many parts of your home. The cost of dealing with a leak promptly could save you long-term bills caused by any further damage on your property.
- Whenever you spot a leak, look for the source of the leak.
- Turn off the stop tap for your property.
- Contact a plumber or professional who can deal with it as soon as possible.
- If any damage has been done, you should contact your insurance company and landlord.
It is not always the case whereby the cause of damp originates from the outside. One of the most common causes of damp within homes is due to condensation.
There is always some moisture in the air. If air gets cold, it cannot hold all the moisture produced by everyday activities and some of this moisture appears as tiny droplets of water, most noticeable on single glazed windows on a cold morning. This deposit of water is condensation. Condensation occurs in cold weather, even when the weather is dry and it forms when hot air meets cold air.
Causes of condensation:
- Not ventilating enough. Keep your property well ventilated by opening your windows on a daily basis to allow moist air to escape.
- Try to keep at least a small gap between walls and furniture, particularly against ‘cold walls’, and allow ventilation of any cupboards to keep air flow moving.
- Don’t dry clothes indoors. If this is not possible, put them in an enclosed room with plenty of ventilation and keep the window open.
- Not using heating could cause condensation. As it is cold air that causes warm air to release moisture, try to keep heating levels within your property at a constant temperature, especially in the winter.
Solutions to condensation:
Unfortunately, the tips above to prevent condensation do not necessarily work every time as it depends on the extent of your condensation problem. Here are some recommend solutions to condensation problems:
- Whenever mould patches appear, it is highly recommended to remove the first moulds that you could see on your wall, as condensation just goes to worse. The first small mould patch will retain more and more water, becoming a bigger mould.
- Sometimes the use of a chemical spray or dehumidifiers could solve the problem, although they would only make the mould patches disappear on the short-term.
- It is strongly recommended, the introduction of an air ventilation system, such as using passyfier vents on the walls, which will increase the ventilation around all the property. Especially for HMO’s where, tenants are sometimes reluctant to open windows, don’t use heating or dry clothes indoors.
- Having double-glazed windows can also solve condensation problems, although it is a more pricey solution.
D&L PROPERTY SERVICES LTD.
TEL: 01273 600160