Most people are aware of the issue of damp and mould in the home, but many people do not understand how to deal with the problem. While it may seem like an annoyance, mould is actually dangerous. Mould emits pathogenic mycotoxins that can cause serious health problems for a lot of people. To understand how to deal with mould, we need to understand what causes it.
The Appearance of Mould in the Home
Mould is a fungus that emits invisible spores. While you might want to eliminate these spores to ensure mould does not colonise the home, it is not always that easy. Fungi are a part of our ecosystems, so we cannot eliminate them. This is especially true when you consider the fact that mould spores are microscopic, and so we cannot see the mould until it colonises a home.
A mould colony is dark green or black. It is slimy, and it can get messy when you try to clean it. Removing mould from the windows, doors, walls and floor is relatively easy. All you need is some water, bleach, vinegar and a sponge. However, the mould behind a cupboard is a lot trickier. This is because you might not notice it until the colony has started growing, and you would need to do a lot of work to get rid of it. So, what causes mould behind cupboards?
It is Mainly About Air Circulation and Damp in the Home
While it is impossible to eliminate mould and its spores, it is possible to prevent it. You do this by controlling indoor moisture and dampness in a house. The reason it works is that mould thrives in homes that have uncontrolled condensation, high humidity and water leaks or penetration into the home.
The lack of circulation, as is often the case behind many cupboards, allows mould spores to sit for long periods until they grow into mould. This lack of circulation stems from the fact that the area behind the cupboard will be blocked off by the wall behind it and the boards used to build it. The fact that cupboards are also meant to sit for long periods means many people do not clean behind them.
The cause of mould in your bathroom or kitchen is a lack of ventilation when cooking or showering. This lack of ventilation leads to high moisture and humidity levels which provide a conducive environment for mould to thrive. Apart from behind the cupboard in these areas, you might also find mould on the windowsills and behind appliances as the mould spores start to spread inside the home.
Plumbing Issues Causing Mould
Most of your plumbing is installed in the walls and your cupboards are likely installed in front of these walls. If a leak happens inside such walls, the wall will get damp and mould might start growing on it. You might not notice this because the damp area and thus the mould will be hidden by the cupboard.
One way you could tell that there is a leak even if it is hidden is by noticing that the floor feels or looks damp in an area that is away from obvious water sources. If such an issue is realised beside or in front of a cupboard, it is a good idea to check behind the cupboard to see if you have a leak there.
You can also commission additional London damp surveys to find out the cause of the damp floor. Such surveys can even reveal mould in areas other than behind your cupboards.
Dealing with Mould Behind the Cupboard
Before doing anything, it is a good idea to call a damp specialist London to find out if a damp issue is causing the mould in the home. They will advise you on factors like penetrating and rising damp so that you know the next steps to take if there is an issue.
The second thing is dealing with mould. This includes cleaning the area with bleach, water and a detergent. Scrub the area until it is clean and do not be afraid to clean it as many times as you need to until all the mould is gone. Take care not to destroy the paint on the wall. Once you are done cleaning, dry the area with a dry cloth and leave it like that for a bit to ensure it is completely dry.
Sort Out Ventilation Issues
Because poor ventilation is a precursor to mould behind your cupboard and in other areas of the home, you need to ensure that areas likely to have high humidity are properly ventilated. These include the kitchen and the bathroom.
You can install a range hood in the kitchen to remove moisture while you cook. You can also open the doors and windows while you cook or use the shower to let the damp out. If you have to, you can use a fan or install an air conditioning unit in the home. The air conditioning unit, in addition to cleaning the air and removing humidity, can also filter the air and remove mould spores to stop it from growing in the home.
Deal with Damp Issues
Next, you have to deal with the damp issues that are creating a conducive environment for the mould to thrive. This includes finding all potential areas damp could be getting into the home. One common issue is penetrating damp that gets into the home through the walls. Get a property survey so a professional can assess the damage and tell you the next steps.
Also, check that your gutters and downpipes are in good condition. If they are blocked, they could cause water to cascade down the walls instead of being led away from the house. This can cause the walls to be saturated with water leading to damp that causes mould.
Having mould behind your cupboards or anywhere else in the house is not a good thing because mould can be incredibly dangerous. Knowing how to remove the mould and dealing with what made it grow in the first place is critical to prevent a recurrence.