Although Mould Spores are always in the air, on their own they’re invisible and harmless. It’s only when they settle and breed that they can cause problems.
In order to settle and breed, there are a number of things that Mould Spores need:
- Food – wallpaper, textiles and paint
- Temperature – anything from 5 to 20 degrees centigrade is ideal for growth
- Oxygen – found everywhere
At any given time, all of these conditions are occurring in our homes and buildings. However, the biggest factor is through the moisture in the air and the condensation produced.
The moisture in the air which allows the spores to group and breed can come from issues with buildings which have allowed damp to penetrate. It can also be a result of environmental and seasonal factors.
During the winter, we tend to see far more condensation and the air seems to be more humid. This moisture is generated in homes through normal activities such as cooking, washing and bathing, drying clothes and breathing. We’re also far less likely to open a window or door to ventilate a room than we might be in the summer, because we’re trying to keep the warmth in.
Unfortunately, all these factors mean that mould spores are far more likely to settle and breed, creating Black Mould.
Although we would always urge customers with mould issues to contact Unitas in the first instance (telephone 01782 234100 or use the customer portal if already registered), there are also a number of things that you can be doing to restrict the growth of black mould in your home and control its’ effects:
- Produce less moisture – difficult we know, but cutting bath and shower temperatures, using racks rather than radiators to dry clothes and opening a window when cooking can help.
- Remove excess vapour – wiping down surfaces once moisture has settled (such as bedroom windows and mirrors in the morning) and using dehumidifiers can be a big help.
- Ventilate – keep windows and doors open wherever possible – we know this isn’t easy in the winter, but even for a short time the effect can be useful.
- Increase the temperature wherever possible – drying out the air by having a heater or central heating on can prevent the spores from settling and breeding
- Insulate and draught proof – insulate lofts, consider double glazing and cavity wall insulation and draught proof windows and external doors.
- Remove the mould itself. We recommend following the steps here on our Damp and Mould leaflet.