What is black mould?
Black mould is, we’re afraid to say, often the cause of the way people live in their home. It happens when condensation gathers in the house and occurs mainly in the cold weather, appearing when moisture in the air condenses on the coldest surfaces, and in places where there is little or no movement of air.
How to avoid condensation
- Keep the house warm – In the coldest weather keep the heating on, at the very least twice a day at a high temperature, to reduce condensation and take the chill out of the walls.
- Ventilation – Keep a small window open in the room wherever possible to release moisture from the room.
- Pull your bed away from the wall – not by a massive amount, but enough to let the air circulate between the wall and your bed.
- Use the extractor fans – If your kitchen and bathroom are fitted with an extractor fan please use them, or open a window if a large amount of steam is generated.
- Reduce moisture/ condensation – don’t dry wet clothes on your radiator. Use a clothes line or the tumble dryer if you have one. If you don’t have one at home, you could use a dryer at a launderette – or a kind friend who might let you use theirs!
- Use a dehumidifier – In extreme circumstances a de-humidifier (electric or non-electric) can be purchased from places like Amazon, B&M, Home bargains, B&Q or Argos. Used with a fan, this will help with air movement and will drastically reduce humidity in the room.
NB: if de-humidifiers are used, please make sure to empty the water collector regularly or you’ll end up with water all over the floor
Please be aware that you don’t have to be drying clothes for black mould to appear. If somebody else is drying clothes on the landing etc the condensation will go to the nearest, coldest wall which can be your room.
How to remove black mould
Things you will need:
- Rubber gloves
- Clean bucket/ washing up bowl
- Washing up liquid
- Old clean towels / floor coverings
- Ensure the surrounding surfaces are covered as bleach can ruin fabrics and carpet.
- Wearing rubber gloves, mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts water in your bucket/ bowl
- Using a sponge, wash the mixture onto the contaminated areas (not so the water runs, just enough to clean it) and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. If the mould is particularly stubborn, repeat and change the mixture to 1 part bleach to 5 parts water. Leave for a further 20 minutes
- Dispose of the bleach mixture, and add a little washing up liquid to clean water, washing the bleach away from the mouldy area with a sponge (not so the water runs, just enough to clean it)
- Rinse the area completely with clean water using a sponge (not so the water runs, just enough to clean it), and dry with old towels
- The cleaning may have discoloured the area, but don’t worry this is normal
NB: unless moisture is controlled as explained above, mould will return particularly during cold weather.
Please also remember the following from your contract...
2.5 Black mould
2.5.1 Black mould grows on internal walls, usually when condensation cannot escape and is normally due to the life style of tenants, because of a lack of adequate heating and ventilation. You are wholly responsible for this and advice on how to remove it can be found in your Tenant information pack issued at the start of the Term, and emails issued by the Landlord or Chester Student Lets. If the Landlord or Chester Student Lets are to carry out this work in-order to maintain the quality of the House You will be charged.
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