MOULD may often be thought of as a winter issue, but it can be just as much of a problem during the summer months – especially if there’s a lot of rain.
July was one of the wettest on record, according to the Met Office, with much of the UK battered by heavy downpours.
All of this while holidaymakers in Europe battled extreme temperature highs.
Unfortunately, there’s little to cheer those at their wits’ end with the wash-out summer, as it doesn’t look as though conditions are going to improve just yet.
Parts of the country are being warned to brace for more strong winds and showers over the next few days.
Endless rain outside, constantly drying clothes inside, and opening windows less often during a summer such as this, can all cause humidity and exacerbate a mould infestation.
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Not only are the black, green or white patches unsightly, but this toxic fuzz can also be harmful to your family’s health.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of mould growing in your home, according to DIY expert, Jason Phillips from All About Windows.
He’s been a member of Checkatrade for more than eight years.
He told The Sun: “When the air is very moist, condensation will form on walls or ceilings, and this allows mould to grow.
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"Factors that contribute to moisture in the air include poor insulation, rain seeping through cracks in the home, and bad ventilation.”
Given a rainy summer can be a ripe breeding ground for mould, your focus needs to be on controlling moisture and humidity in your home.
Jason said: “If the weather is gloomy or rainy, people are more likely to leave the windows shut, meaning their house or flat is poorly ventilated.
"Wet conditions outside can also result in more people hanging their washing inside, and this can increase the moisture in the air.”
One of the simplest ways to help avoid a mould problem is to ensure a better flow of air.
“A lot of damp issues are the result of poor ventilation,” said the DIY supremo.
“Condensation is the easiest damp problem to fix, and improving the airflow by opening windows is a good first step to take.”
Using an extractor fan can also be helpful.
“Extractor fans remove the moist air from a room,” said Jason.
“They are very useful in maintaining a high-quality indoor air environment.”
At B&Q, you can buy a bathroom extractor fan for less than £20.
Good ventilation in your home will also be a help if you have no choice but to dry your laundry indoors due to persistent downpours.
Better still, use an airer – or even a heated airer.
Both are cheaper alternatives to using a costly tumble dryer.
Figures from uSwitch show that while a 3kw tumble dryer would cost about 90p for a one-hour cycle, a 0.3kw heated clothes rack can cost as little as 72p to run for eight hours.
At Asda, you can pick up a heated airer for under £50.
According to Jason, if left untreated, wooden window frames are at risk of being repeatedly exposed to moisture, and this can trigger the growth of mould.
He said: “Wooden frames are more vulnerable to mould and moisture damage, and over time, they could end up rotting.
"This, in turn, can threaten the stability and security of your windows.”
If you need to get wooden frames repaired, you could be looking at a bill of £172, according to Checkatrade.
Jason said: “These kinds of frames are commonly replaced with lower-maintenance vinyl, aluminium, or composite wood which resists moisture and rot.”
If you have plastic or uPVC window-frames and want to get rid of mould, there’s a cheap fix that you can try, using items you are likely to already have at home.
Jason said: “You can make your own mould spray by mixing up a solution of white vinegar and water.”
On Amazon, you can buy a five-litre bottle of white vinegar for around £6.
“Put it into a bottle and spray it onto your frames,” said the window whizz.
“Leave it to soak in, then wipe down with a soft microfibre cloth soaked in warm water.”
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Acting fast is the best plan of attack to prevent further growth.
Jason added: “If your home-made mould spray isn’t strong enough to do the job, look at using a specialist uPVC product, such as HG uPVC cleaner, which you can find for less than £7 at B&Q, or Dirtbusters uPVC and conservatory cleaner, costing £14, also at B&Q.”
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