Mould covered walls next to closed window


How to Deal with Damp and Mould in Your House

Updated December 21st 2023

Damp and mould in the house is a common problem. Areas including walls and ceilings in the bathroom, kitchen, or cellar are especially susceptible to these kinds of problems. So, how do you deal with it? Luckily, there are several ways you can prevent mould in the first place, but even if you do find mould, we have some useful tips to help you get rid of it.

The trick to dealing with mould is understanding what causes it. Preventing mould-friendly conditions is important, as is getting rid of mould quickly after it is detected. All mould needs water to grow; growth starts when a spore lands on a damp area and then has enough time and moisture to develop and grow into mould. In this guide we’ll talk through some steps you can take to help prevent and remove mould more effectively.

How do I prevent mould?

Preventing mould is generally easier than getting rid of it. So, anything you can do to make sure there aren’t any areas with mould growing conditions in your home will help stop mould from even appearing. Take a look at our list below of some preventative steps you can take.

1 - Prevent dampness

First step, prevent damp conditions. Since mould needs moisture to grow, keeping things dry will prevent it form becoming a problem. If you experience flooding or water damage, dry the area completely within 24 to 48 hours. You can use floor and carpet dryers to help clean up after major spills and water damage.

On areas like your bathroom walls and on windowsills, aim to dry condensation and moisture as soon as you notice it, and try to keep all rooms well ventilated. It can be hard to control water in these places, but keeping the ceiling, walls, and floors as dry as possible will help prevent mould. You can also buy damp catchers to help absorb moisture from the air.

2 - Check for structural problems

Structural problems that allow water to enter your home can be a major contributor to mould. Make sure door and window seals are intact, clean out rain gutters frequently and repair roof or siding damage as soon as possible. If you notice cracks in your ceiling or drywall, contact a plumber to make sure you don’t have a water leak. If lower walls are damp you may need to check if the damp proof course has failed and is causing rising damp.

We have a range of sealants available to help make seals watertight, and access towers and platforms to hire to help you reach guttering or for checking over your roof.

You should also make sure the ground outside your home slopes away from your foundation so that water won’t collect around your home and seep into your basement. Regularly check for cracks and damage to your foundation and basement walls so you can make repairs quickly.

3 - Reduce humidity levels

High humidity levels create the perfect environment for mould. By reducing humidity in your home, you will make it harder for mould to grow and reduce the risk of problems emerging. You can do this by making sure appliances that use water, like dryers and kerosene heaters, have vents that take air and moisture outside your home where possible. You should also use a fan or open a window when you take a shower, cook or do the washing up.

In extreme cases, you can use a dehumidifier to dry out very damp rooms or clean up after a flood.

4 - Keeping things clean

Another way you can prevent mould is to keep areas that may attract dampness especially clean. Use chlorine to wipe up damp bathrooms or kitchens and clean these areas with specialised cleaning products on a regular basis. Doing this will help prevent mould from growing in problem areas. You can also use steam cleaners and carpet cleaners to make sure your carpets are always clean.

The best way to prevent mould is to keep your home dry and to clean areas prone to dampness with special chemicals like chlorine.


How to Get Rid of Mould

If you do have a problem with mould, you can remove it, clean the area and then work to prevent it from growing again. Follow these steps to get your home hygienic again:

1 - Assess the damage

First, find out how big your mould problem is. Have you found a few small black mould patches on your bathroom ceiling? Or have you discovered that mould has taken over in your cellar? As a guide, if the damaged area is less than one square meter, you can do the mould clean up yourself. If it is larger than that, you should consider calling an expert who can safely remove the mould, treat the area, and help you repair any damage.

2 - Fix the problem and dry the area

Before you begin the mould clean up process, you'll need to stop the source of water. It would be counterproductive to try to clean up mould while moisture is still being produced. For example, if the mould is due to a leaky pipe, have the pipe repaired before you start removing the mould. Then, dry the area completely. Use towels to wipe up moisture and use fans and carpet dryers where necessary.

3 - Protect yourself

As you work to clean up mould, you need to protect yourself and have as little contact with the mould as possible. To do this, wear a face mask or respirator, long rubber gloves and protect your eyes with goggles.

4 - Remove the mould

Different materials will require different methods as some mould can be more stubborn.

  • How to clean mould off walls - Most mould can be removed with some vigorous scrubbing. You can use a mix of water and detergent, or a specialist mould killer, and a scrub brush to remove all the mould from the affected area.
  • How to remove mould from fabric - If the item is clothing you should try to remove as much excess as you can, then run the garment under hot water. Then treat the stains directly with diluted distilled white vinegar in water followed with a wash in a washing machine with 1 cup of the vinegar added to the cycle.
  • How to remove black mould from silicone sealant - Mix together a paste using white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda that is thick enough to apply directly to the affected areas. Ideally this should be left overnight and wiped away with a damp cloth.

Repair the Damage

Never paint over mould. Doing this won’t solve the problem and the paint job won’t be very good, since it will be likely to peel and flake off. If you want to repaint the area, make sure it is completely free of mould and perfectly dry first. It is worth considering using a specialist anti-mould paint as this can help keep the mould at bay for longer than a standard paint.

More extensive damage may require bigger repairs, like new flooring or drywall installation. Some of these projects you can do yourself and others will require the help of a professional.

The best way to deal with damp and mould in your home is to prevent it. Keep things as dry as possible, use proper ventilation, keep things clean and make sure your home’s structure is sound. If you do find mould, these tips can help you take care of it right away so it no longer poses a health risk to your family.

Image of blog author Cat Burke

About the Author

Cat Burke

Cat is a member of the E-commerce team and is passionate about all things product, from power tools and TVs to cushions and curtains. She enjoys tackling basic DIY tasks at home and has taken on jobs such as stripping wallpaper, painting rooms, and upcycling furniture.

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