COMBATING CONDENSATION AND BLACK MOULD
With autumn in full swing, and the winter months just around the corner, our surveyors expect to be busy with all sorts of damp issues exacerbated by the change in seasons. One of the main problems that spikes at this time of year is black mould caused by condensation.
Condensation can occur in any property, making it a major cause for concern for homeowners, letting agents and commercial property owners alike.
Condensation can be combated though, read on to find out what you can do.
CONDENSATION IN RENTED PROPERTIES
In the autumn our surveyors provided countless surveys on behalf of letting agents because tenants have complained about properties being “damp”. Nine-times-out-of-ten the problem is patches of black mould caused by condensation.
More often than not, simple lifestyle changes can avoid black mould occurring in domestic properties. By advising tenants to keep lids on pots and turn on extractor fans when cooking, opening windows as often as possible and pulling furniture away from cold walls etc… a lot of “damp” problems can be avoided.
That said, condensation is not always the fault of the people occupying the property. If tenants complain about broken extractor fans for example, it is important that these are fixed before a serious problem with mould occurs.
CONDENSATION IN COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES
In commercial properties, it is unlikely that steam from cooking or people drying clothes on the radiator is going to be the root cause of condensation. Despite this, black mould problems do occur in commercial properties. The problem is usually a result of poor ventilation.
Human breathing expels a surprising amount of moisture into the air, and in poorly ventilated buildings it can often be the sole cause of black mould. Obviously business owners cannot stop their staff from breathing, so properly installed air ventilation systems are the most practical solution. From simple vents and airbricks, to whole-property positive pressure systems for more extreme cases, every problem caused by condensation has a potential solution.
If you have a commercial property that is affected by black mould, we would recommend getting an experienced and qualified surveyor to inspect your premises and advise an appropriate condensation treatment.
There are a number of effective DIY treatments for condensation available. Anti condensation paint for example, contains micro-beads that prevent water vapour from condensing on walls. Dehumidifiers are a good way to remove excess moisture from the air, particularly when installing a full ventilation system is either impractical or too expensive. There are also a number of mould killers and sterilisers to clean up the mess that black mould leaves behind whilst also preventing any re-growth.