Robert Williams Estate Agents, Exeter

Damp and mould can damage our health and properties, so this needs investigating. Sometimes, the cause can be linked to a structural element. 

Depending on the type of property and the position of the mould: check any chimneys are swept and appropriately capped; check your gutters, downpipes, internal pipes and roof for leaks; that your air bricks and damp course are above ground; and that surface water runs away from the house. Does any brickwork need re-pointing?

Other factors, however, could be the root cause.

Ultimately, mould grows in areas of high humidity or damp. Years ago, homes had floorboards, chimneys, and other ways for air to circulate. Nowadays, they’re air-tight with thick insulation, concrete floors, and super-efficient windows, and with the cost of energy we naturally don’t want to let our heated air out.

The trouble with this is that there’s nowhere for our water vapour to go. An average, modern family of four produces more than 24 pints a day by just living – breathing, cooking, showering, etc; bigger families and those with pets even more. Surprisingly, it can take bathrooms up to seven hours to dry after a shower!

So, we must regulate the moisture content in our homes to prevent excessive condensation.

One of the obvious ways ways to prevent any build-up is to always use an extractor or open windows when cooking or washing, but general ventilation is a must, particularly in places where the air can become stagnant – in fitted wardrobes, behind furniture, and in bedrooms without external vents. So, open windows regularly and encourage air circulation - move furniture away from walls and leave wardrobe doors open every now and then. Unpopular though it is, experts recommend we keep our heating on low to provide a constant background heat, thus walls never get cold enough to condensate.

There are certain house plants which can help, we’ll cover those later in the week.

Good luck in your investigation. If it’s a structural issue, I hope it’s an easy fix. If we can help any further, just give us a call on 01392 204800.

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