With the rainy season upon us, we wanted to share with you different areas in and around your home to look out for when considering damp, mould and water damage – and what you can do to try to prevent it.
So, Let’s start this off with the more familiar spots!
This is probably the most common issue that people see in their homes. Caused by moist, warm air on cool walls and in areas of the home that have generally more moisture in the air such as the bathroom.
A great way to prevent this from happening is keeping rooms well ventilated or painting walls with anti-mould paint which works to prevent the build-up of mould including back mould – use this in areas of high condensation and humidity such as your bathroom and kitchen. Finally, if damp is already an issue in your home, using a dehumidifier will reduce humidity levels making your home less acceptable to mould and mildew.
2) Penetrating damp
This is caused by water seeping through your walls which can travel across your walls and even through the ceiling.
The main cause for this tends to be from structural issues with the building itself such as cracked walls, leaking roof, leaking pipes under your bath or faulty guttering. If you notice dark patches on your ceilings or walls you should consider getting a professional out to look at it.
3) Rising damp
This is exactly how it sounds – from water travelling up through the walls from the ground. This is usually caused by a lack of drainage or the ground outside being higher than the damp-proof course of your home, both resulting in water seeping above and getting in.
You can check for signs such as damaged skirting boards, floor covering lifting up or wet patches and peeling paint or wallpaper. If you notice any of these issues occurring in your home, be sure to get it checked out to avoid structural damage.
So what areas of the home can be effected?
1) Mould under the sink
It’s not uncommon for your kitchen sink pipes to obtain a slow drip which creates the perfect habitat for mould. This dark, damp area can give off a musky smell over time and eat away at wooden walls/floors, so it’s a good idea to check this regularly to prevent it from causing any damage.
2) Mould behind / under baths
If you’ve noticed the caulk filler around your bath and connecting wall has started to break away or starting to yellow, it’s most likely time to replace it with some fresh caulk. Doing so will prevent water from leaking behind and damaging wooden studs, frames and floors.
3) Mould behind / under washing machines
Checking appliances regularly for water damage such as behind your washing machine can save your walls and floors from a mould and damp situation. Washing machines’ push gallons of water around its pipes on a weekly basis and a failed coupling, small hole within your appliance or even an incorrectly attached hose can all result in serious water damage.
4) Behind the shower
You may not even be aware that there is a leak behind your shower until it is too late but signs to look out for are, loose tiles, paint peeling from the wall around the shower or a musky smell in that area. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to get it looked at by a professional as soon as you can. Gone untreated, water can leak into the wooden structure of your bathroom and adjacent rooms and cause mould.
5) Behind your dishwasher
This is just like your washing machine except there are a few more areas that can cause issues. Check around the rubber lining of your dishwasher for any cracks or holes – this can be done by placing a piece of paper at different spaces of the door, close and try to pull onto the paper. If you can easily pull the paper out then chances are, you need to replace the rubber around the door to ensure the sill is tight and prevent any leaks. Other checks include the hose for holes, the valve is connected securely, and the draining system is not clogged.
6) Window frames
Over the years, window frames can become damaged, window sills can become broken and water can begin to seep into your home and walls. If you think this might be the case for your home, try replacing the sill between the glass and gasket and clean any muck from the bottom of the frame. If your window looks to be leaking around the structure of the window, it would be a good idea to call in a professional window replacement company to avoid any further damage.
7) Under the toilet
If you didn’t know by now, a leaking toilet can cause structural issues with the floor which can seep into other areas of your home. If you notice a small pool of water at the base of the toilet, this can be an obvious indication, another is if the toilet become wobbly as this can mean the supporting floor has become rotten.
8) Outside hose pipes
Given the nature of the hose pipe, there is a good chance it can become loose over time and begin to leak. Water tends to run down the inside or outside of the wall, causing damage. If you notice a dark patch underneath the pipe faucet then this is a good indication that there is a leak present.
9) Aircon unit
These appliances have a pan inside that collects condensed water which moves around inside to its evaporator coils and then to a drain though a small line. The line can become clogged causing an overflow with the drip pan which can lead to mould accumulating inside. To clean your aircon unit, hoover up any debris within the appliance and using soapy water, wipe down all surfaces of the unit, allowing enough time to dry completely. You can then apply an aircon conditioner cleaner and a mould-inhibitor. Here is a more in-depth article on cleaning your aircon unit.
10) Around your chimney
The main causes for a damp chimney is salt contamination, condensation and obviously rain. Issues can be either with the chimney stack itself, from water travelling to the base of the stack allowing room for moisture build up. If the mortar around the chimney stack is split or cracking, water can also seep into the chimney breast. The damp proof course may also be damaged, if it has one that is. All of these are things to look out for but with a professional who is equipped to safely check and make the appropriate rebuild.
Mould, damp and other leaking nasties are all things we want to avoid and as we have seen, there are things you can do at home to avoid certain issues. If you have found yourself stuck with a small mould issue that you can clean up and put right, brilliant! We hope this article has helped you. Otherwise, there's always a professional to help with your mould issues.