Mould is caused by enduring dampness and can appear when you least expect it. Dampness can be caused by structural issues with the property, or it could be man-made through usual house activities. If you notice mould appearing in your property and are in doubt what could’ve caused it - speak to your property manager.
They will have a good understanding of the history of the property and be able to advise you if there are structural issues causing the mould, or if there are steps that you need to take to get rid of it.
As a root cause, structural dampness (such as roof leaks, plumbing issues etc) attributes to smaller percentage of mould cases. Condensation through home activities (such as washing, cooking, clothes drying, bathing, etc…) on the other hand, is estimated to be the cause for over 80% of the cases.
Having mould in your home is frustrating and inconvenient but you might be able to prevent and reduce it by following these simple steps.
Dampness is most frequently caused through condensation of humid air. Opening your windows and letting fresh, dry air in can be an instant way of lowering air humidity by allowing the dry air to circulate inside your home. It’s tempting to keep all doors and windows closed during the cooler months, but aerating your home regularly, even in winter, is critically important to allow humid air to escape and prevent condensation.
Use your appliances
For areas that may not have larger, easy to open windows for natural ventilation, such as kitchens and bathrooms, you may need to rely on appliances and aeration devices. Keep your rangehood running when cooking and keep your bathroom exhaust fan going even after showering, to remove humid air as quickly as possible. If you have an air conditioner (not an evaporative cooler) you can use it to dry and circulate the air in your home. Most air conditioners have a drying mode, usually marked with a water drop symbol on the remote.
Dry the wet areas
Aeration through windows or appliances may not be possible in certain areas. If you notice persistent and excessive moisture in your laundry for example, you may need to dry damp surfaces manually. This could be done using a clean dry towel to wipe the excess moisture from walls and easily reachable areas, or a clean, dry mop to wipe upper walls, corners, and ceiling.
Give your furniture some “breathing space”
Avoid storing furniture and belongings pressed up against walls that are prone to moisture and condensation. You want to ensure that air can circulate around your belongings, so moving your furniture a few centimetres away from the wall can make a world of difference.
Clean the mould promptly
Prevention is always better than cure, however when it starts, mould spreads quickly. If you notice mould appearing in your home, make sure you clean it promptly to stop the spread. Many people find white vinegar to be a good natural product for fighting mould. If white vinegar isn’t doing the job properly, you can always pick up commercial mould removing products at your local supermarket or hardware store. Remember to patch test the product to avoid causing any damage to the surface.