Damp and mould can mean big problems for landlords, letting agents and tenants. It can cause stress and even health issues to those affected, and can mean landlords having to spend time and money on rectifying the problems.
1. The main cause of damp
A common cause is from condensation which occurs when air mixed with water at a warm temperature meets a surface at a cold temperature. These occurrences tend to be in microclimatic areas, such as behind cupboards and in the corner of rooms. Additionally, areas that can be affected include places with poor insulation, cold spots such as concrete beams and a lack of ventilation.
2. What you can do to prevent damp and mould
Knowing how you can stop damp and mould forming is by far the best way to defeat it.
- Heating is also important because it lowers the opportunities for condensation to settle. Make sure your advise your tenant to turn the radiators on regularly.
- Make sure that your property is insulated so it counters the usual, cold conditions in which condensation can grow. You might want to consider increasing the level of insulation in your property (EWI, cavity fill, double glazing) to improve insulation.
- Ventilation is key. Keep trickle vents on windows open and try to keep windows open, especially if the tenant is drying clothes, cooking or showering.
3. How to remove existing mould
If you’re unlucky and you’re currently experiencing mould in your property, don’t panic. There are ways to make it eradicate it.
- Clean the mould on the walls or windows with a fungicidal wash that’s recognised by a Health and Safety Executive ‘approval number’, and follow all instructions on the bottle.
- Once you’ve done this, redecorate the affected surface(s) by using a fungicidal paint to help prevent mould from reoccurring.
- For any mildewed clothes or carpets, make sure that you dry clean and shampoo them respectively.
- If possible, place insulation to the external walls of your property. Seek professional insulation advice if you’re not sure on how to do this.
- Finally, improve ventilation by installing fans, installing windows with trickle vents, and by using Passyfier vents.
Don’t let damp and mould damage your property. Getting into good habits as a landlord and tenant will help keep things under control and ensure that remedial costs and the effects of damp are kept to a minimum.
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