Tackling damp and mould

mould spores on ceiling

During winter, mould and damp can be very common in properties. With the cold weather here to stay, residents are encouraged to take simple steps to prevent their homes from being affected.

Mould and damp occur when a home has a lot of condensation, this happens when there is moisture in the air. The average family add 2 gallons of extra water to the air in their home every day, through cooking, bathing and drying clothes inside. Damp and mould can also be caused by leaking pipes, holes in the property’s roof or a defective dampcourse.

The first sign of mould will be black pinpricks on walls and ceilings, there may also be a musty smell and green fur in cupboards.

Following these simple steps can help prevent mould and damp:

  • ventilate the home to reduce moisture
  • when cooking, open windows or use an extractor fan
  • if drying clothes indoors, ventilate the room
  • leave space between furniture and walls to allow air to circulate
  • keep the home warm – having the heating on low is better than heating on high for a short burst
  • make sure loft insulation is good quality
  • consider secondary and double-glazed windows

If you do spot signs of mould, you should:

  • dry windows and sills with paper towels
  • remove and kill mould by wiping down surfaces with fungicidal wash
  • when decorating, use anti-fungi paint to prevent mould from appearing again
  • don’t brush or vacuum the mould as this can cause it to spread
  • clean and remove clothes and carpets that have been affected

Cllr Dale Birch, chair of the Bracknell Forest health and wellbeing board and executive member for health, said:

“As well as being a nuisance within your home, damp and mould can affect your health.

“Inhaling or touching mould spores can cause an allergic reaction and asthma attacks. Residents should take extra precautions to make sure their home is safe from consistent mould and damp.

“If you are concerned about your home, reaching out to a mould or damp specialist is advised.”

Help is available for households who are impacted by rising energy bills through the household support fund.

For tenants of private rented properties where the landlord is not helping, advice is available from the Environmental Health team.

You can contact them by: