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Dampness & Mould
Dampness and mould are common throughout New Zealand homes, and a lot of the time this is as a result of everyday living. Mould thrives in damp conditions, and requires moisture to survive.
While a small amount of mould is not likely to cause health issues or concern, it is best that mould be cleaned away as soon as possible. A large cause of mould in kiwi homes is condensation.
Condensation is formed when warm air carrying moisture comes into contact with cold surfaces, resulting in water droplets, and can be best managed by providing adequate ventilation to your home every day. This can be done by opening windows and doors for an hour or two each day, or by using a ventilation system.
Other ways to mitigate moisture throughout the home include:
- Drying your washing outdoors where practical, and making sure any clothes dryers are vented to the exterior or have a window open while they are in use. Shut the room that the dryer is in with the window open for optimal ventilation.
- Dry your towels outside after having a shower or bath when you can. Try and avoid hanging damp towels or clothing over doors.
- Keep lids on pots while cooking, and open a window or use an extractor fan where present. If using an extractor fan, make sure it is ducted to the exterior and not pushing moisture around inside your home.
To protect your investment, we recommend the installation of security stays on bathroom windows so that they can be left open, and where a ceiling fan is present in a bathroom, consider having a delay timer installed so that the fan runs for a few minutes after the switch is turned off. Another moisture curbing item to consider is a dome over separate shower units, to prevent moisture spreading through the room while the shower is in use.
It is well known that unflued gas heaters, both portable and not, expel moisture into the air while heating. When unflued heaters are in use, ventilation to the room is necessary to prevent excessive build-up of moisture within the room. While a portable gas heater may seem cheaper to use for heating in winter, if there is no ventilation where it is being used then this can impact on your health and wellbeing. Always open a window when using an unflued gas heater, or consider using a different heating source.
In other areas of the home a ventilation system may prove a worthy investment particularly where houses are single glazed. It is also important to have a decent amount of insulation covering the ceiling space and sub floor in habitable rooms where practical.
A well-insulated, ventilated, and heated home should minimise mould growth and condensation. Heating does not need to be extreme, generally a home should be 5 - 7°C warmer than the outside temperature.
Where mould is present in large quantities, and you’re taking preventative steps to reduce mould in your home, a more serious issue may be present. Water ponding and constantly damp sub floor areas can contribute to moisture content within a home, cladding or roofing failures also often result in moisture ingress and mould growth. Leaky plumbing or plumbing fixtures will also contribute to dampness, mould and rot.
Our trained and knowledgeable inspectors are skilled in identifying moisture issues, and have the tools needed to inspect your property for underlying issues above your everyday condensation. Phone us today on 0800 487 884.