Olly Writes

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Combating Mould

A common symptom of dampness and insufficient ventilation, particularly during the winter months. If you’re already aware of black spots or damp patches on your walls and ceilings then you know your home is ‘infected’.

But there is a cure. In fact, by browsing the internet you can uncover a range of home-made and personal solutions. What’s most important though, is that you get at it ASAP, as those spores, in spite of their size, can be seriously detrimental to your health.

I live in a quite a spacious property with high ceilings. It has previously suffered some damp issues in the past and it retains the original single-glazed windows. I’m on the ground floor, almost secluded behind other buildings who share this courtyard. Two rooms have heating; the bathroom’s heater is used intermittently.

I was already aware of a few black spots along the lower edge of my living room window frame but it wasn’t until I raised my window blind up all the way in the bathroom (for the first time in many weeks) that I spied many spots of bother adorning the seldom used glass.

Some will try to tell you that heating is the answer to such a problem and that a lack of is the cause. While I’m prepared to accept there may be a glimmer of truth in that, I remain adamant that air needs to ventilate as much as it must circulate.

The Cold Wall

In a bathroom that has one single-glazed window and a fan heater that’s only switched on when someone’s present in the room, a cold exterior wall is very likely to develop where the window exists. I can put my hand on this wall at any time of the day and it’s always colder than the rest. After a shower and, even with the ventilation fan running, I notice moisture (as it cools) settles on this wall but none of the other three.

I’ve definitely NOT been missing the bowl, here!

With double-glazing, you effectively have a cold ‘wall’ (on the outside), a gas-filled cavity in the middle and then a warm ‘wall’ on the inside. You’re far less likely to find condensation develop here (except when you’ve been running or boiling hot water). In my situation, each of the three windows in this property develops condensation overnight but it is always the bathroom (the unheated room) that develops the most.

It’s a bit like the difference between living in a normal home with cavity walls and then living in an attempted garage conversion with only a single skin where everything indoors freezes up overnight… Oh, I’ve been there!!

Not for slugs!

I keep seeing these salt-based products (some are egg-shaped) that apparently rid your home of damp by absorbing much of the airborne moisture… I remain a sceptic, having left a couple of small glasses, filled with a quantity of salt on my window sills and I’m still yet to see a reduction in the nightly water droplets streaming down my glazing.

It’s funny though… The same week I noticed these damp spots and began to formulate a plan of attack, I also spied this in the local Lidl store! It’s like when they “sold me” that microfleece blanket last week – how do they know?!? They also had a stain blocker on the shelf next door but I decided it wasn’t essential.

Following the instructions, I sprayed my first application and left it work for several hours – which developed in to 6 hours, as I set off for a short walk. Being a cheap product, it shoots jets of water rather than a fine spray and so, you should be prepared for a little mopping up afterwards.

As I returned home, I wiped all areas over with a damp cloth and, just as the product packaging warned, I was left with dark marks where the worst of the mould used to be. I’ve tried applying a second coating and yet these marks still remain. Apparently, you can paint right over this but that may have to wait until the chilled air dissipates.

There appears to be enough of a damp seal product left in the tin from my summer home improvements to enable me to seal this up and then cover it with some of that ever-familiar Landlord’s Magnolia!

I’ve also made an effort to clean the window frames, where mould was beginning to show on some of the wood but I won’t rush in to painting them as wet rot is evident and my landlord has previously spoken about replacing them. I guess all he needs now is a gentle nudge!

Thanks for reading and remember…

Got mould? Get rid of it fast!

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4 responses to “Combating Mould

  1. redjim99 24/01/2015 at 18:10

    It’s a constant battle in older houses. We have a Victorian house with solid walls, a real problem.

    • Olly Parry-Jones 24/01/2015 at 19:04

      Definitely. I know the building I’m in is also quite old. Someone suggested to me there may not even be a DPC here, which is unthinkable in today’s world. But how times change!

  2. Anna 24/01/2015 at 18:12

    Haha landlords magnolia, that really made me chuckle. Do you think they buy it in bulk with their beige carpets? 🙂 x

    • Olly Parry-Jones 24/01/2015 at 19:03

      Haha, thanks Anna! It’s actually a direct quote from my landlord, when I asked him about painting the walls! I’m sure his garage has gallons of it stashed away! 🙂

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