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Mould, Damp - help

(39 Posts)
OnNaturesCourse Tue 05-Dec-17 14:30:59

Currently in a little fight with my landlord as the windows in our home are leaking, drafty, full of condensation and the sills are growing black mould.

I've been bleaching the areas almost daily but the bleach fumes are crazy and I have a newborn in the house so have to be careful with fumes.

I've tried the damp/condensation catchers but the problem is beyond that now. Is there anything else I can try to minimize the problem and/or control the damp/mould growth?

I'm in a all electronic home with central heating so try to have the windows open for a little each day to air/dry the place out, and although I dry our clothes inside I don't put them on the radiators. I have a extractor fan in the bathroom where there are no windows but I don't think it's working all that great.


OnNaturesCourse Tue 05-Dec-17 21:39:15


Wingbing Tue 05-Dec-17 21:43:09

Bumping for you as there are a few knowledgable posters with regards to minimising damp.

Drying washing inside requires very good ventilation. The amount of water collected in a condenser drier made me realise how much water ends up in your home. (It's a lot).

LoniceraJaponica Tue 05-Dec-17 21:46:48

"Drying washing inside requires very good ventilation. The amount of water collected in a condenser drier made me realise how much water ends up in your home."

Very much agree with this ^^
I get several pints of water from the reservoir in my condenser dryer from one machine load. Your best bet is to buy a dehumidifier if a tumble dryer is not an option.

That is a lot of water to condense in your living space if there is insufficient ventilation.

HardAsSnails Tue 05-Dec-17 21:46:55

Drying washing indoors creates a lot of moisture in the air. I didn't realise how much until I got a condenser drier and can see how much water I have to pour away. I wouldn't dream of spraying it around the house but that's effectively what drying indoors is doing. You need either a drier or a dehumidifier. Temporarily you could hang washing in the bathroom, close the door and window and keep the extractor on so the moist air is drawn out of the house.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 05-Dec-17 22:14:08

Thanks all.

Unfortunately there is absolutely no room for a tumble dryer as much as I'd love one, and it's now far too cold out to hang it outside.

I did, for a while, cram it into the laundry cupboard with the extractor fan on but after a few weeks there was absolutely no difference to the damp.

We have what looks like damp on the outside walls so I do wonder if it's in the walls? Feels a bit personal but I'm tempted to enquire if the neighbors have bother to.

At the moment I just need a way to stay on top of it until a solution to the root cause is found - ie. Moving house asap.

ginswinger Tue 05-Dec-17 22:33:39

Check your extractor fan is clean and working properly. Borrow or buy a dehumidifier. You can easily take a few pints out of a room over night, it's remarkable. Try it for a few days and you'll see a big difference. I have one in my house and I run it for a few days every few months.

iboughtsnowboots Wed 06-Dec-17 04:47:21

I would buy a dehumidifier and run it 24/7 until the moisture levels come down. You are putting a lot of water in your house with laundry drying, I would also keep opening the windows regularly as well as heating.

Poosnu Wed 06-Dec-17 09:53:34

Yes to buying a dehumidifier. Drying clothes inside puts so much moisture into the air.

We bought one this year for the first time and it has been such a revelation - clothes dry inside in hours, much less condensation on the windows and the house feels much warmer as it isn't damp.

Kitsharrington Wed 06-Dec-17 11:26:42

I dry my washing in the conservatory as I have no other option. I open the windows and keep the door to the rest of the house closed. Never had a problem with it.

As far as I understand it, condensation is worse at points where cold air meets hot, which is why water builds up on the inside of the windows overnight. Aluminium window frames are terrible for making condensation worse, as they get a lot colder than wood.

The key to avoiding general damp is to keep the rooms a warm, steady temperature (rather than hot when heating is on and cold when it is off), allow air to circulate against the inside of the windows by keeping your curtains or shutters open for as long as possible during the day. Keep windows cracked open as much as possible (esp in bedrooms at night), don't dry clothes or towels on radiators, and do things like open the kitchen window when you are boiling water, cover pots on the stove, always keep the bathroom window open until the room has dried out following showers, etc. Using a dehumidifier is incredible for showing you how much water there is in the air.

specialsubject Wed 06-Dec-17 11:36:51

washing can go outside in the cold, you just need breeze and not raining. Drying it inside is chucking pints of water into the air.

but as your windows leak the place is a dump. Report to enviro health. Or look into moving.

what is the EPC rating?

OnNaturesCourse Wed 06-Dec-17 12:24:21

If I remember correctly it's EPC C (when we moved in two years ago)

Hoping to move by the end of next month so I don't / can't spend a lot on a dehumidifier 😖😖 I've heard vinager is good on mould?

user1469751309 Wed 06-Dec-17 12:27:37

I bought a cheap dehumidifier from Argos I wouldn't have paid more than £30 as I don't have much money and its runs all the time. Our mould was so bad I had to throw away my DD mattress as it went green! It's not totally gone now but it's much better and yes to those who have said no drying clothes in the house it just adds to the dampness

ijustwannadance Wed 06-Dec-17 12:33:10

You need to just suck it up and get a dehumidifer and confine the clothes drying to one room with dehumidifier running.

We used milton sterilising fluid on mould in old house.

gingerbreadmam Wed 06-Dec-17 12:51:32

HG mould spray is great for mould. I know you said no to a dehumidifier but it can still be used in a non damp house.

We have lots in our rented house as well. Fortunately we have a good landlord who is going to actually purchase a dehumidifier for us.

The last time I did a deep clean on the mould I soaked it in bleachy water then washed down with mould spray then clean water then had the heating on to dry it all out. That seems to have helped. It hasn't come back anywhere near as fast.

Could you dry clothes at a family members or a launderette? That will be really adding to the problem.

I have found ours is a little better now the eating is on more.

Other things we do to try and help is rep all doors closed. Windows on latch when possible. Lids in pans.

iboughtsnowboots Wed 06-Dec-17 14:23:15

You have had all of the advice that you need to manage this problem, vinegar is not going to manage it. A dehumidifier can be quite cheap and likely to be useful in your next house particularly if you won't have a tumbler drier there.

specialsubject Wed 06-Dec-17 18:28:37

C. OK.

Vinegar is obviously going to do nothing - ' I heard' is always nonsense.

Get the washing out and hope the new place has space for a drier.

scotsguy17 Thu 07-Dec-17 00:50:14

Guys I hate to stick my nose in here but I am having a similar problem but my problem is in my toilet. There is black mould under the sink, here and there on the walls and on the tile grout. We rarely opened the toilet window due to the amount of bugs and spiders that were coming in the home. Yes I know silly but we since got an insect net and have been opening the windows.

I have cleaned the grout with mould cleaner, it was also pretty bad on parts of the wetroom floor but after using the cleaner once it has not returned. I am going to repain the walls with anti mould in it. Obviously I need to finish cleaning under the sink and under the toilet seat where I can see specks of it. It washes off the wall easily where there are speckles. I have a dehumidifier but it's only one of the cheap £1 ones. I had one before which couldn't have cost more than £10 where it did build up a lot of water but don't have that anymore. Do you think leaving the windows open all day would help solve the problem? We also thought we had a leaky toilet seat but the person that came out to look at it said it was the condensation that was causing it. Basically I just want rid of it.

I also didn't know about leaving your heating on all day. We do tend to only put the heating on at night. I know this will also make me look bad but if you have your heating on at a low temperature all day and night would that cost you the same amount of money as having it on at high temperatures?

cannotmakemymindup Thu 07-Dec-17 00:57:57

We used to have a lot of condensation/damp in our home to. Older windows, not good ventilation but also mainly (especially with bad weather) dry clothes indoors.
The biggest help was a dehumidifier. At first run quite a lot now just every night on a timer. In addition use the crystal damp collectors in more closed off sections of house, think wardrobes, near windows etc.
Oh and doing an extra spin on washing so that it comes out of machine drier.
We recently purchased a new dehumidifier from Tesco online for around £50-£60.
The only time we get caught out with condensation now is if the house isn't warm enough and we have a particularly cold night as we are on storage heaters so can't quickly adjust for extremes in temperature.

cannotmakemymindup Thu 07-Dec-17 01:03:37

scotsguy17 when you repaint you want a specific paint for damp walls. It's an undercoat that basically allows the paint to breath, it helps it to let the water dry off if i remember correctly. This stops mould from growing but also stops the plaster etc being eaten into from the damp. We had a wall that was having paint peel and crumble off, using this undercoat has worked great, no more damp wall!
There may be someone with more knowledge and a better solution though.

scotsguy17 Thu 07-Dec-17 01:08:32

I'll look into that. All I have is paint for bathrooms and it says on it includes anti mould but I will look into the indercoat. There's a few little cracks in the paint already there so I don't want that getting worse! Thank you.

iboughtsnowboots Thu 07-Dec-17 02:16:06

Dehumidifiers are electrical and new I imagine around 50 pound minimum . They are rather bulky to have in a toilet all the time if it is a smaller room but they will actively pull the moisture out of the room and can remove pints in a night.

Airing the room will help as will regular heat.

OnNaturesCourse Thu 07-Dec-17 02:48:02

Thanks all.

I've crammed the clothes horse / dryer back in the laundry cupboard and put the extractor fan on... Only to discover the fan is ridiculously noisy and vibrates through the whole home. Kept with it though so will see if there's any difference to the physical dampness in the house tomorrow.

Going to ask landlord to purchase a dehumidifier as we wait on the leaks / drafts being fixed.

OnNaturesCourse Thu 07-Dec-17 02:51:42

I am wondering if the extractor fan is only now working fully (with the noise) as it was quiet before and didn't help / do anything. Maybe it wasn't on right or something before?

I've had all the windows on open vent today too so fingers crossed.

CiderwithBuda Thu 07-Dec-17 05:00:19

If you don't want to buy a dehumidifier what about a Karcher window vac? They are for when you wash windows - you basically vacuum the moisture from th window once your washed it - but I've seen them recommended on here for condensation.

Also as someone else said clothes do dry outside in th cold. My mother dried clothes on the outside line all her life. Then just put them on radiators to air.

Th extra spin cycle is supposed to really help too.

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