Now that the weather has taken a dip people are turning on their heating for longer and longer and this time of year is kind of moist in general, it’s an ideal combination for mould and mildew.
This is something we’ve been seeing in our inventories. Sometimes, sadly, people believe it will go away if they ignore it but as we’ll discuss later, if you ignore it… it just gets worse.
How to spot Mould and mildew? At Valensole Inventories, we inspect all the rooms of a house. People expect to find Mildew and mould in the kitchen or Bathroom, after all there’s running water in both of those rooms, but we’ve seen it in every room. Well, not every room… (Except that one property… and we don’t talk about that place.) But at one point or another, we have seen Mould and or mildew in it (Seriously, hire us and we’ll point it out to you.) It’s not always easy to spot after all we’re talking about small little black or green dots on quite a large expanse of wall space. Here’s something similar where’s the Panda?
It’s not so easy is it? Experience has taught us not to miss the panda hiding amongst the snowmen. We’re trained by the AIIC as well as having years of experience with our clients so no panda is missing our gaze. But what if your panda are just black and/or green spots? Well we’re trained to spot those too. (Keep an eye out for our fair wear and tear article.) But let’s rule out the black and green spots created by little Timmy and his first set of felt-tip pens, you’ve spotted black spots that may or may not be furry.
Mould and mildew are two separate species of fungi both of which thrive in warm, damp porous surfaces with little or no ventilation. Each are similar but easily identifiable, Mildew is characterised by small black spots that sit on damp surfaces, it is easily wiped away and cleaned with general household products. Mould on the other hand is usually a more serious matter; unlike Mildew, mould is usually black or green, mould is the one that is usually ‘furry’. Mould is indicative of a deeper problem and what can be seen is only the tip of the furry green iceberg, it can’t be painted over to fix the problem; it can mean major restructuring work as all damaged areas would have to be cut out.
The best way to deal with mould and mildew is to avoid it completely by avoiding moisture build up. Ventilation and a heat source are ideal.
Okay this could be going too far.
As we mentioned before, both mildew and mould thrive in moist, warm environments. Proper ventilation is the key, extractor fans for that hot steamy bathroom after a shower and maybe an open window after cooking. Even better many windows have trickle vents that help maintain air flow and allow moisture to dissipate. Dehumidifiers also help too. Sometimes it happens because the house is too cold but here are the main tips to avoid mould and mildew
Dry all windows, windowsills, and any other surfaces that have become wet. Ensure you wring out the cloth thoroughly; do not dry on the radiator!
If possible, always hang your washing outside. If this is not possible, you could hang it in the bathroom, with the door closed and either the extractor fan on or the window slightly open or locked in the vent position to allow through flow of air.
Do NOT dry washing on radiators as this will add to the moisture already in the air, this could also cause expensive damage to heaters and radiators.
If you use a tumble dryer, ensure it is well ventilated to the outside, or that it is the new condensing type.
Try to ventilate your kitchen when in use, either by opening a window slightly, or using the extractor fan. Try to ventilate both kitchens and bathrooms for at least twenty minutes after use.
Remember, get a 3rd party inspection when renting out your property or when you rent a property.