Mould on cold surfaces

Mould is perhaps the single greatest home occupier’s complaint. However, like a canary in a mine, it is what mould tells us about dampness and humidity that is important.

Mould is common in virtually every property. Spores are omnipresent looking for food and moisture to colonise.

Associated dust mites cause allergies. Dust mites grow in similar humid conditions to mould. With perhaps the exception of extreme penicillin intolerance, it is rare that mould itself is the cause of allergies – but it often feels that way.

Dust mites

Dust mite cause allergies, but as they can’t be seen, people associate allergies with mould are far more visible, in similar humid environments to dust mites.

Tips for stopping mould and associated allergies

  1. Mould and dust mites are caused by
    1. excess vapour (bathroom, drying clothes, kitchen, respiration),
    2. insufficient heat or heat distribution,
    3. and insufficient ventilation. 
      All three or a combination.
  2. The easiest solution to stop or control mould is
  3. remove mould as and when it appears:
    • rub down with a mid grain sand paper (if a suitable painted plasterwall),
    • spray either bleach or anti-mould spray (active ingredient bleach – follow the instructions) making sure not to spray material such as carpet or curtains
  4. Reduce relative humidity at source (% RH is a function of vapour and heat):
    • improving ventilation,
    • improving heat balance that is balance of heat across a property (similar temperature on the walls of each room) and across the day and night.
    • comparing temperature of ceiling to thermostat temperature and temperature of vapour generating location (bathroom etc),
    • improving insulation from above loft, in eaves or with thermal insulating plasterboard or thermal lining paper,
    • distribution of heat, from radiators (making sure of airflow behind curtain’s cupboards sofas etc.).
  5. Paint with anti-mould or so called anti-condensation paint can reduce the risk of mould.

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