Winter is well and truly upon us and temperatures outside are edging ever closer to freezing. All of a sudden you look into the corner of your room or behind your bed and come across some unsightly black mouldy spots beginning to develop on the walls.

It’s a familiar scenario for lots of people, and to explain the cause of it we’re going to have to take you back to a lovely bit of nostalgic Key Stage 2 Science! This mucky mould is caused by excessive condensation and it is actually everybody’s responsibility to keep it under control.

Condensation occurs when warm air carrying water vapour comes into contact with an especially cool surface, like the walls near a window. After an extended period of time the dampness left by this condensation creates the perfect breading ground for staining and mould growth to take its toll. Not only can this damage walls, window frames, furniture and internal structures, but if left untreated can be bad news for your health, causing chest infections and breathing problems.

Mouldy Wall
Typical mould on wall caused by condensation

So to make your home life as pleasant and as worry-free as possible, we put together a set of instructions on how to deal with pesky condensation and mould:

  • First check that the walls are not already suffering from damp or mould.  If mould is already present, wipe down with hot, soapy water, soak up any excess left over as best you can and leave the room well ventilated until dry. Cleaning your walls works well as a quick fix, but prevention is always better than treatment!
  • After a bath or shower ventilate the room to the outside, not to the rest of the house.  Opening a window and closing the door will help.
  • Hang wet clothes outside or in a well ventilated room by opening the window. Better yet, if you’re lucky enough to have a tumble drier, take advantage of it!
  • Keep lids on saucepans when cooking, with the kitchen door closed and a window open.
  • If possible try to open your windows once a day, bearing in mind security issues.
  • Make sure furniture, particularly the bed, is not situated against an outside wall.
  • Wipe off any moisture which collects on the windows and windowsills, especially in your bedroom. This is most common after a cold night, when your breath has been condensating whilst you sleep.
  • Take advantage of moisture absorbing devices, to help capture excess condensation in particularly troublesome areas
Moisture Capture Device
Unibond Moisture Absorbing Device

If the problem persists or worsens despite these steps, you may need to discuss the issue further with your landlord. Increased window ventilation or anti-mould paint may help the situation.

And if you are currently in University accommodation, remember to email resrepairs@hull.ac.uk or headleasing@hull.ac.uk and let our helpful accommodation team know!

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