We’ve had mould problems ever since moving in to this property. We found it under coving, under the old carpet, behind wallpaper and in the kitchen cupboards.
We’ve slowly been eradicating it – we had most of the issues resolved (except for in the kitchen, but more on that in the next post…) by the time we had finished decorating. However, it kept coming back in our bedroom and in the bathroom along the edges of the ceiling/walls. We had put this down to humidity. At night we breathe whilst sleeping, and in the bathroom… well, that one is obvious. I was getting frustrated with the constant mould recently and called up a specialist company.
They refused to take my money.
Instead, they gave me some (free) tips which, in hindsight, are quite obvious if I had thought about it. I appreciate that they did this instead of charging for someone to come out and do the work for me!
First off, they told me that a high humidity does not result in mould. Instead, where condensation forms is where mould forms. Condensation appears where a surface is cold enough for the moisture in the air to turn into water when it comes into contact with that surface. If you can remove the moisture from the air (essentially impossible in a home) OR warm up those surfaces, condensation won’t form as easily, and therefore mould will have a harder time growing.
Heating a room does not achieve this on its own. As the mould was forming along the edges of where the ceiling/walls met (on externally facing walls, too!) the specialist company surmised that the insulation in the loft was not covering those areas. The heat was escaping through the plasterboard ceiling and not being held by insulation, cooling the area down. Water in the warm air would travel up, hit the ceiling barrier and condense there, dripping down the walls if enough formed.
Up to the loft I went to disover that this was indeed the case. In some areas (not coincidentally the same areas where we had the most issues with mould) up to two foot of ceiling was exposed. Luckily, there was a spare roll of insulation up there already. I used this to fill in the edges about a week ago and since then we’ve not had any more mould appear in those trouble spots. Early days of course, and we’re still getting mould around the windows, but I have some thermal insulating paint to test there.
Ideally we’d replace our windows but can’t really afford to do so at the moment – they’re old and the seal has broken on some of them, which we will get repaired.