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condensation & mould in your apartment

A common problem that we see inside apartment buildings (particularly during winter) is the growth of mould in the bathrooms and bedrooms where there is the most moisture and warmth. Damp walls, ceilings and floors attract mould and can cause serious damage to your property, as well as have long term harmful effects on your health.

Why does mould occur?

There are many different reasons this may occur:

• The apartment does not get much sun during the day.
• A lack of ventilation inside the apartment (very common cause).
• The bathroom is not being aired out correctly after use (very common cause).
• Burst pipes or leaks from outside (eg. window or roof leaks).
• Poorly installed windows.
• Overflowing gutters.

In the cases of burst pipes and other forms of water leaks, there will usually be other, more obvious evidence of water ingress such as staining and obvious moisture that you can see and/or feel.

How to prevent mould-

If there is no leak that needs rectification, then the best way to stop mould from growing is to get rid of the conditions it needs to survive by removing the moisture content in the air and creating cross flow ventilation inside your apartment. The following suggestions may assist you with prevention and treatment:

1. Keep windows open as much as possible.
2. When showering, keep your exhaust fan on for the duration and for at least 1 hour afterwards and where possible, open/ crack a window.
3. Utilise a de-humidifier and run it over winter.
4. Buy a bag of damp granules to absorb some of the moist air and then replace this every week.

If you already have mould present, once you have addressed the issue of the moisture and condensation, then the final step is to remove all traces of the mould from your apartment. There are many products available which can do this, some containing a weak bleach solution and others that are more natural. Once the mould is removed the surfaces can then be repainted with special mould resistant paint to prevent spores from reforming (this is something that may not have been used when the walls/ ceilings were last painted and is particularly recommended in bathrooms and wet areas).

If in doubt, seek advice from a specialist and they will be able to point you in the right direction.