mould (black mould??!) in my student houseWatch
ive literally just noticed that on the wall behind my bed (right next to where my head is when i sleep) there's loads of blackish speckles and spots of mould (/ mold ?? idk how to spell) and around my window.
im pretty concerned since ive heard bad things about black mould (which is what it looks like) but i dont know what to do next tbh
i dont think i was doing anything wrong that might cause mould/damp - i leave my door open pretty often to get air circulating and sometimes open the window, though less since its gotten colder.
i messaged the landlord and he didnt seem particularly concerned, just asked me if we had the heating on, whether i left my door open ever, and pointed me towards my 'responsibilities with regards to mould' or something, then said he might look at it 'later'.
now i dont know what im meant to do. do i leave it? can i still sleep in that room? is it better to heat the room more? less?
if anyone has any tips itd be much appreciated
also we just started talking to the landlord about possibly staying on in the same house for next year, and now am sort of wanting to know whether the way he is handling this is good and whether we even want to stay here..?
It's no surprise that double glazed, well sealed houses often end up practically hermetically sealed in the winter when it's too cold to air them out. Combined with the density of people living in student houses compared to regular houses, lots of showers, people drying their clothes on clothes racks in their rooms, and everyone cooking separately (cooking things releases loads of moisture into the air), loads of water enters the air.
This water entering the air will condense on cold walls and this will eventually grow mould, in the winter walls are sure to be cold at times. The best way to prevent this is to remove the moisture from the air.
Of course, opening windows is one way to solve the problem, as well as drying clothes in the garden, and cooking with a window open, but it's not optimal in the winter.
I would recommend buying a dehumidifier for your house, maybe you could all chip in as the entire house will have these damp problems soon. Place it in a communal place like a central part of the hallway, and leave doors to the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms open as much as possible to allow the moisture from those rooms to be removed.
Buy a powered dehumidifier with a tank, NOT a passive one (with dehumidifying crystals/salt) as these need to be refilled with new crystals/salt. Powered ones just need to have their tank periodically emptied down the sink. You may be able to find a second hand one on Gumtree/Shpock/eBay.
Domestic dehumidifiers will consume up to around 150W (about the same as a fridge), however all of this energy is dissipated as heat, so it will help with the heating of your house and the energy is not wasted.
Just wash it off. It's not a problem unless you are asthmatic with a specific sensitivity to it. Keep the room warmer and let air circulate, it thrives in damp conditions, which is why you usually get it in bathrooms. There are specific black mould cleaners if you want to spend £3.99 on getting rid of it.
For the meantime:
- buy a dehumidifier (they're like £8-10 for a small one with water absorbing things inside)
- open your windows every day for 30 minutes or so, preferably first thing in the morning when you've been breathing out moisture all night
- keep the house warm enough (that doesn't mean unusually warm just don't be stingy)
- buy a proper mould remover and wipe it off and then be vigilant about keeping it wiped off
- deal with moisture in the house in general, wipe windows which have condensation, keep the fan on in the bathroom after showering and in the kitchen after cooking etc
- make sure all furniture is a few inches from the wall so there's space for the air to move around
- keep an eye out for any mould in other places in the house