What should you do when you see small chunks of mould on your house walls, the bathroom, or the roof? Most people will just ignore it as they do not understand the threats that such a thing can pose. The same people will also not take action when they spot signs of dampness within their property.
However, you should take action and get rid of both if you are a responsible homeowner. Determining what is causing the mould or dampness in your home should be the first cause of action. Read on as we discuss what dampness and mold are, the causes, remedies, and what you can do to keep your home damp and mould-free:
What is damp?
A house that has unwanted moisture is known as damp. This dampness is usually in areas such as the floors, ceilings, or walls. A small patch of damp on a wall may not seem like a big threat. However, if the situation is not treated, it will likely lead to serious challenges within your home.
Some of the most common damp causes include leaking pipes, moisture leaking from the soil, broken or missing roof tiles, and porous bricks. Damp can lead to serious health conditions, such as asthma. Damp can be categorized into two:
Rising damp is where damp rises vertically (mostly on the walls)
Penetrating tends to move horizontally and mostly affects ceilings and walls.
What is mould?
It can be described as the fungus that breaks down dead material. This fungus will grow in homes that provide the perfect environment for its growth. Some of the perfect conditions for mould growth include warm air, moisture, and materials to feed on, such as dust, carpet, and wood. Mould continues to grow or spread until it is removed.
Mould comes with serious health threats. Some of the people who are likely to suffer a lot include children, babies, those with a weak immune system, respiratory problems, the elderly, and those with existing skin problems. A report generated by WHO shows that 300 million cases of childhood asthma can be linked to mould and dampness.
Why do you tell that there is mould in your house?
The grout between your tiles is darkening
Wallpapers are peeling
Presence of coloured or dark spots on your walls
You feel itchy
You have seasonal allergies that never go away
A musty odor in your home
How to get rid of damp and mould in your home
Invest in a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier reduces humidity levels, which makes the house less hospitable to various allergens such as mould, dust mites, damp and mildew. On the other hand, low humidity results in some undesirable effects such as cracks in wooden furniture and chapped lips.
There are two main types of dehumidifiers, based on the technology as you can see on https://getdehumidifiers.com/. You can either have a desiccant or a condensate dehumidifier.
- Condensate/ refrigerant dehumidifier applies a similar concept to the refrigerator you have at home. The unit takes in moisture from the air and condenses it on a metal plate. There is a fan that constantly draws moisture from the surrounding and condenses it on these plates. The condensed water drips into a water tank while air is pumped back to the room.
These units are most effective at room temperature. However, their performance seems to decrease as the temperatures lower. Ice tends to collect on the plates, which thus reduces their efficiency.
- Desiccant Dehumidifiers apply a different approach compared to the refrigerant type. These units absorb moisture from the air using a desiccant wheel. The desiccant comes with silica gel that comes in handy when it comes to the absorption of water. This type of dehumidifier tends to be smaller in size but more efficient when compared to the former. A desiccant dehumidifier is effective even at low temperatures, unlike its competitor.
Ventilate the house
Lack of enough ventilation could be one of the reasons why your house is becoming damp. It is this dampness that will eventually create the perfect space for mould growth. For instance, when you shower in a small bathroom with no ventilation, moisture will get trapped. Mould spores do not thrive where the air is fresh. Always make sure that you open the windows after taking a shower as this allows moisture to get out of your house while fresh gets in. You can also add small windows to mostly damp areas.
Clean the affected areas
Most people use toxic off-shelf chemicals to remove mould from their homes. The good news is that there are home remedies that you can apply and still eradicate these microorganisms.
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most effective solutions known for its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. To use hydrogen peroxide, pour a concentrate of about 3% into a spray bottle. This chemical can cause damage such as discoloration. You can test its concentration on an inconspicuous surface to test its effectiveness. You can then saturate the mouldy area with this solution and leave it for about ten minutes. You can then use a stiff brush to scrub the affected area.
Baking soda is another effective solution when you want to eradicate damp and mould. You can start by getting a spray bottle with water. You can then add a quarter tablespoon of baking soda and shake until it dissolves completely. Pour the solution on the affected area and then use a hard brush to scrub. Use water to rinse the affected area and remove the residual baking powder. You can then spray the affected area and let it dry without wiping (this helps kill any mould that may have remained).
Realizing that you have a damp and mould infestation is the first step in the restoration journey. You can then find out the causes and how it is likely to affect your quality of life. The final stage is mould removal, which will vary based on the resources available. Ventilating your home, cleaning, and having a dehumidifier are some preventative measures that you can have in place. A simple exercise such as calling a plumber when you have water leakages can make your house habitable.