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Mould and Damp - 21/1/2013 5:08:51 PM   
Rebenectomy


Posts: 5629
Joined: 20/1/2008
From: 10-0-11-0-0 by 0-2
My current house is quite frankly disgusting. A few weeks after moving in the weather turned and ever since I've been battling mould and damp (and a load of other problems, but I thought about asking about this one first). It is everywhere, behind the fridge, up the walls in the hall stairwell, down the backs of doors and even discovered my brand new wardrobe, that I only put up a month ago, is riddled with it. I was wondering if anyone had any tips for combating it? At the moment I've been avoiding drying clothes on radiators and have been cleaning and spraying with an anti fungal spray, none of which seems to be producing any long term results. It's depressing the hell out of me and I'm worried about the health implications for me and my son.

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RE: Mould and Damp - 21/1/2013 5:41:55 PM   
Sexual Harassment Panda


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Joined: 30/9/2005
Is it rented or a property you own? If it's the former you could take this up with your landlord and get it addressed and up to a liveable standard or look to move property and get out of your contract early.

If it's your own place or you'd just prefer to tackle it yourself I would advise to forgoe standard anti fungal sprays and take a trip down to B&Q, in the gardening department you'll find something called HG Mould Spray. It's in a white spray bottle with a red and yellow label, costs about £5 a bottle. This stuff gets rid of mould no matter how thick and old in no time and best if all with no real effort from yourself. You just spray it on, leave it 15 minutes then when you come back the mould will be gone and the surface will look clean. You will then need to wipe down the surfaces with a damp cloth. If there's any left a second application will do the trick.

The spray works on most surface types, the only one it advises against is wood, but I've used it in wooden window frames without issue, I wouldn't use it on any chipboard or MDF type panels however as it's really strong stuff and would just eat the glue that holds those types of wood together.

Another worthy point is it stinks of bleach after applying for a while so opening a window for a few minutes to vent the room is ideal. After you've wiped surfaces down just spray a bit if air freshener to get rid of the smell.


However this is only a fix for the symptoms not a cure to the problem. You're best off looking if there's any sources for the damp e.g. the basement, a leaking pipe or roof, unsealed holes in the wall e.g. Around a waste pipe that goes from inside the house to outside or just poor ventilation, I.e. no extractor fan above bath/shower, kitchen cooker hood not being used.

To get rid if the dampness and the water that's causing these problems you need to get yourself a few dehumidifiers and leave them on in problem rooms for a few days. Either buy them if you can afford to or rent them. Also whacking the heating on high and opening the windows a crack does a good job also.

< Message edited by Sexual Harassment Panda -- 22/1/2013 7:32:12 AM >


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RE: Mould and Damp - 22/1/2013 7:15:01 AM   
DancingClown


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Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot
Some excellent advice above there. De-humidifiers are great things, if you can afford a good one.

Reb, I feel your pain. We live in a basement flat with three kids and no ventilation. Massive condensation, mildew, mould, damp, insects. Having to dry clothes indoors with no tumble dryer doesn't help but can't be avoided. Inflames my asthma, and we worry endelessly about the kids' health. Like when last September we discovered mould all over the bottom of our two-year old's cot-bed. That was a thrilling moment.

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RE: Mould and Damp - 22/1/2013 10:35:31 AM   
steffols


Posts: 7689
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Jungleland
How's the ventilation in your house? Do you have plenty of windows? Are you on the end of the building with a cold wall?

We've had a few problems with mould, the flat we live in is an old building and we think theres something structurally wrong that we keep getting mould. It doesn't sound anywhere near as bad as yours though. We found a huge patch behind the wardrobe about a year ago and it was because there wasn't enough space between the wardrobe and the wall for ventilation as the wall was a cold brick wall. Take the wardrobe away from the wall a bit and make sure there is enough room for proper ventilation.

Also, you have to keep the air in your house moving. It is such a pain but if you can, leave a few windows open for about an hour everyday. I know this sounds stupid in the middle of Winter but it really does help to move the moist air out and get some fresh air into your home. We have a clothes horse in the bathroom, so we tend to keep that window open all day everyday (its an old fashioned window in a first floor flat with a small opening at the top so very few concerns regarding bastard burglars) except from at night.

If it still continues when you're getting proper ventilation into the property, I would suggest going to your landlord (if you have one), at the end of it all, its their property and if the mould is not of your doing, its their problem so get them involved.

< Message edited by steffols -- 22/1/2013 10:37:33 AM >


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RE: Mould and Damp - 22/1/2013 10:38:08 AM   
Rebenectomy


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From: 10-0-11-0-0 by 0-2
Thanks guys, sound advice there. It's a rented property that I have no intention of staying in once my lease is up (hopefully get out sooner on the grounds that I'm expecting and will under no circumstances bring a newborn into this shit hole; in addition to mould and damp there are electrical issues, sanitation problems, pest control issues and even the odd bomb making neighbour), but until I can get somewhere else sorted I'll be trying the tips outlined. I've priced dehumidifiers and they're a wee bit pricey, but where would I hire them from? Check on google/gum tree I suppose, or would the council have them?

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RE: Mould and Damp - 22/1/2013 4:22:46 PM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6286
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
Reb, if the landlord isn't willing to do anything about it, it might be worth having a word with Citizens Advice.  Private landlords have previously been a nightmare to try and control, but the Private Tenancies (NI) Order does give you decent rights as a tenant.   For example, if it is an old house built before 1945 then it might even be eligible for rent control if it is deemed that the mould and damp render it unfit for habitation.  Regardless of the age of the house, if the damp is at such a level to affect the health of the occupants, then it is not fit for human habitation under Article 46 of the Housing (NI) Order and your landlord cannot rent it out.  You might even be entitled to recover your rent paid to date and deposit.

You should also check your tenancy agreement as responsibilty for putting this right may in fact lie with your landlord, thus saving you a few quid in anti-mould treatments.  Generally, unless stated otherwise, you're responsible for making sure its kept in a decent condition and any damage you cause is made good.  The landlord is responsible for all structural work/repairs, exterior work and all interior work not assigned to you under the agreement.  If you haven't got an agreement, your landlord is breaking the law which might give you a bit of leverage if necessary.   If the property is deemed an HMO, then your landlord has even more legal duties to fulfill and standards to meet.


Any new windows fitted after a certain date will have to allow trickle ventilation (normally it's just a small opening that can get covered by a slider).  If yours has this, leave it open, especially when cooking, washing, showering etc.  It's probably also worth finding out if the mould is indeed a health problem - if you contact Belfast City Council's environmental health department, one of them will come out to inspect it.  This can also help in getting the wheels in motion with your landlord to put it right.

Apart from that, the other advice here is all good.  HSS Hire on the Albertbridge Road will hire you a dehumidifier and even deliver it to your door, but it can be quite costly so you're probably better trying to get the landlord to agree to do it

< Message edited by sharkboy -- 22/1/2013 4:30:20 PM >


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