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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.

specialsubject Sat 24-Nov-12 13:32:51

er...regarding dry cleaning bill, you can ask, but generally landlords are not responsible for tenants' possessions. That's what your tenants contents insurance is for and it should cover something like this.

nocake Fri 23-Nov-12 08:11:05

We get this on the outer walls of our house. The walls are solid stone so are porous and cold. To avoid it you need to keep good airflow round those walls, so avoid putting wardrobes or chests of drawers against them. I have a built in wardrobe against one wall and I've lined it with thin polystyrene, which helps but doesn't eradicate the problem. You should also make sure the house is well ventilated so open windows.

There will be little the landlord can do to improve it. It's down to how you use the house.

FishfingersAreOK Thu 22-Nov-12 23:19:55

No, not a cheek. And it will need a specialist wedding dress clean.

BatCave Thu 22-Nov-12 22:42:11

I'll have to give my landlord the benefit of the doubt, he bought the house to let and we are his first tenants (in this property at least), so it is likely he didn't know. Although I have spotted a tub of anti mould paint in the outhouse and the whole house had been freshly painted before we moved in. Still don't know how he can be so certain though.

The wardrobe is in a corner against a cold outer wall, the wall itself actually feels really cold and damp.

wine would be amazing but I'm bf a tiny baby <looks at wine wistfully>

I'm nowhere near Cambridgeshire unfortunately but will definitely scout around for a decent dry cleaner, thanks for that tip, I'd have just gone along to any old one, thought they were all the same!

Would it be bloody cheeky to ask him to pay for my drycleaning bill??!

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 22-Nov-12 22:06:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FishfingersAreOK Thu 22-Nov-12 22:02:31

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.

denialandpanic Thu 22-Nov-12 22:01:14


denialandpanic Thu 22-Nov-12 22:00:55

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?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

FatimaLovesBread Tue 20-Nov-12 13:16:21

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

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?

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.

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.

FatimaLovesBread Tue 20-Nov-12 11:16:54

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.

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.

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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