I currently live in a student house owned by a private landlord (rather than a company), and I have damp in my room. It is an old house with sash windows and the wall under my window is damp and has mildew/mould on it. The window is constantly covered in condensation, the frame has mould on it, and due to the age of the windows it is very delicate and stiff to open. The damp has got alot worse over the 5 months I have lived here and all my landlord has done is said it could be due to the guttering outside my room and cleaned my wall with bleach. This was a few weeks ago and the damp is back as before. The wall in question happens to be where my desk is meaning that I am less than a foot away from the damp for most of the day and am directly in line with the damp when sat at my desk working. I know damp has some health implications and I am slightly worried about this as I currently have tonsillitis and a bad cough, which seems to be getting worse despite being on antibiotics. I am wondering if there is anything I can do not only to get the damp sorted, but also to check if it has had an adverse affect on my health as I still have 7 months left on my contract. Any help/advise would be greatly appreciated.
- Thread Starter
- 27-01-2010 16:43
- 27-01-2010 19:42
You need to open the window on a daily basis to air the room and also ensure that the room is adequately heated. A huge amount of moisture in the air is created just by breathing, sweating etc. and if there is no ventilation there's nowhere for it to go and it settles on cold surfaces -windows etc. creating condensation.
Most mould/condensation issues are caused by lifestyle factors, but sometimes it's related to poor insulation, in which case a dehumidifier is your best bet, the removed the moisture from the air.
- 27-01-2010 21:24
There are basically four things which can cause damp - rising damp, which would only happen on the ground floor; rain getting in because of some kind of leak/problem wth the guttering; a leak from the plumbing; or condensation. Because the problems seem to be mostly around the window and because you've mentioned condensation, it's most likely that's what it is. Like Grotbag said, condensation (and the subsequent mould) is often as much to do with how you live in the house as with the house itself. there are some things you can do to avoid it...
Don't dry clothes in your room - and it's probably an idea to make sure that even things like wet towels aren't kept in your room. Hang them up in the bathroom instead. Keep other sources of moisture out of your room (so, for example, don't have a kettle in your room) and try to avoid moisture coming into your room from other areas in the house (so, for instance, keep the kitchen door shut when cooking, and the bathroom door shut when showering).
Move furniture slightly away from affected walls. This helps the air to circulate.
Ideally, (and again, like Grotbag said) you want to both ensure that your room is sufficiently warm, and that it's ventilated. Opening the window just a bit for a period each day will help ventilate the room. Ideally, with a sash window, you should open it by equal amounts at the top and bottom, as this also helps air to circulate. I know they can be fiddly, but the window's lasted this long and will probably survive being opened and closed for a bit longer!
If you can do all this stuff, it'll probably help with the condensation, and once that's under control the mould will probably sort itself out. In the meantime you can always have another go at it with bleach. You can buy commercial 'mould killer' sprays but they're just watered down bleach anyway, which you can make yourself easily and for less money.
Also, don't panic about your health. It's really not particularly likely that the mould in your room is the cause of your sore throat. You're a student; you spend a lot of time around a lot of different people; you may not have totally settled patterns of eating, sleeping, exercise and so on; you probably have a bit of course stress to contend with - none of these are a recipe for perfect health! If your sore throat isn't responding to antibiotics, it may be that it's something viral rather than bacterial. Go back to your GP if you're worried, but I wouldn't panic.