Black mould

(30 Posts)
BatCave Tue 20-Nov-12 09:43:23

We've been living in this rented cottage for just 8 weeks, we were hoping it would be somewhere we could settle for a while.

I moved a box in my 2 year old daughters room and have found black mould up the wall, on closer inspection it seems to be starting to cover the whole outer wall and judging by the musty smell and mouldy pots and pans its in the kitchen too (same outer wall).

I'm gutted. We moved to get away from another house related problem and thought we'd found somewhere great. I also have a 7 week old baby and I'm worried about my children's health from this. My daughter has a chesty sounding cough brewing and I'm wondering if its linked.

It's a very old small terrace house. I've no option of moving my daughters bedroom.

I'll contact my landlord, but what can I expect - if anything- him to do about it? Or is it my problem and if so what can I do about it?

My DH and I lived in a mouldy flat pre children and it was a nightmare, we were both really ill the whole time we were there.

PigletJohn Tue 20-Nov-12 10:18:55

does anybody drape wet washing around the house or over radiators?

Namechangeforapropertythread Tue 20-Nov-12 10:22:00

In our flat it was washing related. Get some mould spray and gloves and wash it off. We had to use a laundrette as nowhere in our flat to dry clothes.

ISeeSmallPeople Tue 20-Nov-12 10:28:16

Condensation mould has 2 causes.

1) lifestyle
2) damp

Are you hanging washing indoors? Cooking with open pans? Showering & then not running the extractor or opening the window? Breathing?? smile

Check outside. Any green marks running down the building from gutters or near down pipes. Any bubbling of plaster inside? Any missing roof tiles that you can see? Blocked gutter drains, with a mass of leaves in them?

Get a dehumidifier. It will help in the short term, & new ones cost pence to run.

BatCave Tue 20-Nov-12 10:47:13

We don't put washing on radiators but do occasionally have it hanging on airers in utility room, but that's almost an extension on from the kitchen, it isnt part of the main house if that makes sense. Tbh we mostly tumble dry (and its vented outside). No obvious drainage problem and I can't see the roof tiles.

I try and open windows as much as possible but difficult when I don't like being cold when we've got such a little baby. The windows are too large to leave open when I'm out the house.

Always have windw open/extractor fan on when showering. Cooking with open pans - hmm yes sometimes. Breathing.... Perhaps we could cut down on that wink

Would a warmer house be preventative, ie if I were to whack the heating up a bit or would that make it worse? Have got a dehumidifier from old place, but this is such a tiny house we'd struggle to know where to put it. I guess will have to have a try and also make a concerted effort to open windows more.

So I guess it's a case of suck it up then?

ISeeSmallPeople Tue 20-Nov-12 10:57:59

There is a recent condensation thread on here somewhere. I think it's called double glazing.

Open trickle vents if you have them.

You don't have to heat & ventilate at the same time. Heating helps. A lot. As does ventilation. But you don't have to do them together & heat the neighbourhood outside.

Open all the windows and doors for a quick 5 minute through draft. Then close. Once a day.

Run cold water in the bath first. Cuts down condensation on running hot, then cold.

Move furniture away from the walls. Just 2 cm will do.

Put lids on pans when you cook. It will cook quicker too!

You can get quite small dehumidifiers. I got one from b&q on a 20% off day for under £80.

Do let your landlord know that there is an issue. And that you are addressing lifestyle issues to see if this is the cause, but that there may be an external cause. In writing. Just incase you need to refer to it later.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Tue 20-Nov-12 11:04:54

I have a massive problem with this in my house, I scrub all the affected bits with white vinegar as it kills the mould spores. It gets easier to live with xx

Curtsey Tue 20-Nov-12 11:07:28

Hi OP, I am not the type to scaremonger unnecessarily, but I read this article only this morning and it's really unsettled me. I mention this only because your DC are so young. Scrubbing with white vinegar sounds like a good way to keep on top of it.

Don't let the article above scare you, most black mould in houses is harmless to humans until you get a huge amount of it or specific types of mould.

I'd treat the mould to kill the spores and hopefully stop any spread, use white vinegar, bleach or dettol do a mould and mildew remover. Polycell also do a mould cleaner and killer which is basically a kind of bleach. Once you've treated it then take all the preventative measures above to reduce condensation and try prevent it returning.

If you do all those and it still returns then it may be damp within the wall rather than condensation settling on the wall.

hauntedhouse Tue 20-Nov-12 11:54:10

I would be very careful with bleach and vinegar, as it's mostly water and feeds mold rather than kill it. It only works on non-porous surfaces, which you can properly dry after. On walls use only tiny amount necessary to wipe it off.

1sassylassy Tue 20-Nov-12 12:04:18

If you have a dehudifier then find somewhere for it to go,either a central point or each room a day at a time.A warmer house will help,also dehumidifiers work better in warmer conditions.

yani Tue 20-Nov-12 12:11:16

I get black mould in my bathroom, despite always showering with the window slightly open.
Dettol Mould spray is good. I use it on the days we are out, as it smells very strongly of bleach.

Definitely contact your LL. Are you renting through an agency? Does your contract mention mould, or the LL's obligations regarding health & safety?

Yes true, chlorine based bleach isn't very good on porous surfaces as it won't absorb. You could use white vinegar on those, or bicarb of soda or a borax type detergent. I think the Polycell Mould remover I have is ok for porous surfaces such as wood or dry wall, will have to check though.

Agree the Dettol Mould and Mildew does smell quite strong but it's good for tiles etc

BatCave Tue 20-Nov-12 15:40:17

Don't worry fatima I'm not easily scaremongerd wink although it is an interesting article curtsey i think they were warning of the danger if one was to have pre existing breathing problems or a weakened immune system. Luckily none of us suffer with any respiratory illnesses (that we know of at least) and I can't see any signs of mould in our room (baby's sleeping room) - and he is a strapping healthy boy.

Having said that, I do worry about my daughters cough - she's normally a VERY healthy child.

I have some dettol mould and mildew that I use on the bathroom tiles. I have previously used it on the wall in our old place and found it stripped the paint! It's too strong to use in my daughters room though. White vinegar it is then... But sounds like I need to make sure the wall isn't left wet or damp. Will check out that polycell stuff too.

Windows have been open all day and I'm freezing!

BatCave Thu 22-Nov-12 09:41:07

Oh god, I'm hyperventilating. I thought I'd better check my wardrobe, even though there doesn't seem to be a problem in our bedroom - my wedding dress is covered in beautiful silk wedding dress sad and its all wet too. What the fuck do I do?

We so haven't been irresponsible wrt relieving condensation

Merrow Thu 22-Nov-12 09:49:49

We had horrendous mould problems in our old place because of poor brickwork. If you walk round the outside, are there any obvious problems? Exposed brick / adjoining wall (water can sometimes seep in then not drain out).

Get in touch with the landlord, ours was absolutely rubbish but hopefully yours is better. I know some people have got theirs to buy dehumidifiers and contribute to the cost of running them, which might be an option.

TheCrackFox Thu 22-Nov-12 10:08:22

I think that if your wedding dress is covered in mould it sounds unlikely that it is a lifestyle problem and more likely there us an issue with the house. You need to contact your landlord ASAP. It is in his/her interest to sort it out too.

specialsubject Thu 22-Nov-12 12:38:35

most clothes will get a little mouldy if left for ages - but wet is beyond that. Sounds like there is a problem in the property, and it is time to get the landlord involved - his property may be getting damaged so he should be interested. Dehumidifiers are not a realistic solution long-term, they eat electricity.

the wedding dress CAN be cleaned - and if you are going to keep it perhaps it is worth getting it professionally packed?

good luck.

PartyFops Thu 22-Nov-12 12:56:31

Report it to your landlord , if he does nothing, then report to en health and they will tell him what he needs to do.

BatCave Thu 22-Nov-12 15:04:40

I've spoken to my landlord, he said it isn't a problem with the house and is going to drop round a dehumidifier tomorrow, also a damp meter. I don't see how he can be so sure as he hasn't seen it, but surely wet clothes in the wardrobe isn't normal.

BatCave Thu 22-Nov-12 15:06:41

Yes, special I will get it packed I think, so expensive though! I really hope it can come up ok, luckily it isn't white, it's a red silk dress.

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 22-Nov-12 21:53:22

Is the wardrobe in a cold corner against an external wall?
I rented a house that had no mould. Just a little water I wiped off the windows. One day I properly opened the built in wardrobe fully, & found the three items closest to the external wall were green and furry with mould.

It was just condensation. No air flow in the wardrobe. Built in against external wall. Sleeping, breathing, not opening windows often as we're were up north cold.

The worst part is mould breeds mould. So once you have it it's hard to get rid of.

wine, dry cleanes in the morning, & full check of the house inside & out with the landlord. Check for green marks on brickwork, wet external bricks, water marks & staining on the outside of downpipes etc.

Does no-one else suspect that the landlord is well away of the issue just cleaned it up when they were viewing the property our am I just old and cynical?


If you are anywhere near Cambourne in Cambridgeshire there is a fantastic - truly fantastic dry cleaners who specialise in wedding dresses. My dress had not been cleaned 8 years after our big day blush Red wine, grubby dance floor stains, you name it. All gone. Every single 8 year old mark. I was stunned. Cost about £80 but I got a storage box/acid free paper.

As you are unlikely to be (too small a world) seriously think about asking for a recommendation on here (maybe try Good Housekeeping or even chat) before taking such a precious item to any old cleaners.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now