Dealing with damp and mould

Damp is a problem that can occur in any building, new or old. There are several causes of damp – some more serious than others – But it is imperative that you deal with the problem as soon as possible to prevent serious damage to the building and health implications for its residents.

Why is mould so dangerous?

Damp and mould go hand in hand. If your building has a damp problem that is not resolved swiftly, mould will quickly grow. According to the NHS website “Moulds produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants and, sometimes, toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash. Moulds can also cause asthma attacks.”
Mould spores thrive and reproduce in wet or damp parts of a building. They can cause respiratory problems, especially in infants, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems.

What causes damp?

There are 6 main causes of damp:

  • Condensation
    This is caused by excess water vapour that builds up within the warm air of the building. It is a common problem for modern, highly insulated buildings and causes water droplets to collect on cold surfaces such as windows and external walls.
  • Rising damp
    More serious, this is caused by water rising up through the building from the ground beneath. It can predominantly affects basements and ground floors where the damp coursing has been damaged or is not present.
  • Penetrating damp
    When rain water finds its way inside the building due to leaky roofs and broken gutters. It often leaves a brown stain but can easily be fixed.
  • Chemical Damp
    Less common, and caused by salt contaminating the plaster and absorbing water from the atmosphere.
  • Plumbing leaks
    Where there is an issue with the plumbing inside the building. Either joints are not water tight or corrosion has led to a leak.
  • Drying out
    Many new buildings suffer from damp patches appearing where moisture within the building materials finds its way the surface. Often disappears over time.

How to remove mould

First and foremost, the damp issue needs to be addressed. Make sure that the building is well ventilated and that roofs, windows and gutters are well maintained. If you are unable to identify the source of the damp, consult a building surveyor.

If mould appears, it is important to clean it quickly and carefully. If the mould is contained to a small area, you may wish to clean it yourself. If the mould is extensive, contact a professional cleaning company.

It is important to wear protective equipment when cleaning mould to prevent irritation or allergic reactions. Cleaners should wear personal protective equipment such as goggles, gloves and a mask to protect against mould spores.

A professional cleaning company will be able to clean the mould and prevent it spreading or recurring, providing the damp issue has been resolved. A cleaning contractor will also know how best to manage and dispose of the contaminated materials and perform a deep clean to remove spores from other surfaces such as carpets and furnishings.

For more information about our deep cleaning and specialist cleaning services, please call us on 0800 4488026.