The cold weather and huge energy prices have created the perfect storm for an increase in mould. Surveyors are reporting a 10-fold increase as this blight which is threatening to cause untold problems for homeowners and landlords alike.
The older Victorian and Edwardian homes plus those built up to the 1920s are the properties most at risk. However, even mid 20th century houses are becoming prone to this problem which effects our living conditions and our health.
Adequate ventilation helps prevent mould
As people try and save on energy and the cold weather takes hold, people were reluctant to heat their homes as much and when the air inside your property gets colder, it can hold less moisture. That air then condenses on cold surfaces and causes the damp. As it soaks in, mould can quickly start to grow. Keeping all the windows shut can exacerbate the problem.
When the weather is wet, homeowners then tend to dry clothes indoors and, without ventilation, you are causing more condensation.
Certain government energy campaigns suggest draught proofing to keep in the heat, but this goes against the facts that are relevant for ventilating your home and preventing damp.
Opening windows for short periods, to release the humidity, as will making sure your bathroom and kitchen extractor fans are working properly. You can also use a dehumidifier to control moisture when drying your clothes inside.
Blocking up chimneys will also prevent airflow and cause increased levels of dampness.
Damp and mould effect property prices
Our surveyor has currently become very concerned about condensation and mould problems. These can lead to structural damp issues such as rising damp or chimney salts, and damp penetration. In the long term, these problems are likely to affect the price of a property and structural damp can cost up to £10,000 to fix.
How to keep out the mould
By all means put on an extra layer and reduce the thermostat, but keep your home heated to at least 18C and open a window occasionally. These simple solutions could stop mould in its tracks and, keep your home more comfortable for everyone.
Read this leaflet from the Centre for Sustainable Energy to help you keep the mould at bay.