Rainbow Restoration – York & Yorkshire Coast are a leading Damage Management Company and have many years of experience regarding Christmas mould safety over many years of working in the local Yorkshire area.
As part of our new 25 Festive Restoration Tips series, we have collated 5 water mould safety tips to help keep you informed about damp and mould problems over the winter months, a time of year when black mould problems (and other moulds) are in their peak period in UK homes and businesses, especially with the energy costs rising.
Over winter from November to February, including over Christmas when temperatures are cold and icy, there are a number of things that can increase the likelihood of Christmas mould problems, but we want to help you avoid mould on walls, mould on ceilings, mould around windows and mould in general. To help with preventing this and to help you stay safer we have composed these helpful mould tips.
If you are interested in our other parts of our Christmas safety tips series, see:
Christmas Mould Tip 1 – Condensation Problems
Whether you have a Christmas mould problem, or a problem with mould in winter (or any time of year) you need to understand what the main causes of mould are. There are several things that mould needs to grow but perhaps the most important one is moisture and that often comes in the form of condensation.
Mould spores are in and around us most of the time and you can think of them a bit like seeds waiting to germinate and grow. And just like seeds (to grow into a plant) mould needs moisture and, if that is present, mould will flourish, grow and spread if an area provides a good environment for it to grow.
So what causes condensation and how can you stop condensation in your home or business? – thankfully we have produced some guides to this and they are worth taking a look at:
- What is Condensation? – about how condensation forms
- Causes of Condensation – factors that can contribute
As those articles highlight, alongside our guide to mould on walls causes, other than condensation and damp, a water leak can provide the moisture for mould to grow. So if you think you might have a water leak, contact us about our leak detection service we provide domestic and also a commercial leak detection service.
On the subject of damp and moisture, we have a great article about moisture meters.
Christmas Mould Tip 2 – Bleach (Not Using it!)
The next Christmas mould tip is about bleach and mould. When people have a problem with mould, often they think of using bleach to remove mould but that is not advisable. For a number of reasons, bleach is not the best solution for removing mould.
This is least because it may give superficial results, it can be very corrosive (safety concerns), it is often designed for other purposes and not specifically for mould removal. Plus it does not fix the cause of the mould meaning that, the mould could return if conditions stay the same!
Whenever we get involved in mould remediation in properties, we follow a methodical, staged process to ensure effectiveness from start to finish. This includes:
- Carrying out a risk assessment (essential)
- Investigating the causes of the mould
- A mould cleaning and removal process
- Utilising specialist antimicrobial products
- These provide preventative residual effects
- Reporting conclusions and recommendations
So as you can see, we don’t just jump to mould removal, although that is part of the process. Even that stage alone can have many elements, such as the utilisation of air scrubbers with HEPA filters as cleaning can disturb spores so these help to draw these from the air to help stop them spreading to other areas.
Mould remediation is one of the services we provide for members of the York Residential Landlords Association (YRLA) and help landlords and tenants with mould problems. We can help in this process to help explain the mould problem and avoid disputes where the tenant blames the landlord or landlord blames the tenant. More often than not, there are a number of factors to consider from both sides and we can help with that.
Christmas Mould Tip 3 – Causes of Mould Problems
Another great Christmas mould tip is about understanding the various causes of mould. We mentioned earlier about (a) the role that moisture plays and (b) understanding various factors that can cause mould to grow in properties. As part of our mould inspections, we look in detail at these factors that can influence it.
As we said earlier, there are a number of factors that can cause mould, and these can include a number of things which are often interrelated to each other:
- The Existence of Mould Spores – in the property (mould spores exist in many places)
- The Presence of Moisture – from damp, condensation, humidity or a even water leak
- Temperature & Humidity – just like some plants, mould likes certain conditions to grow
- Organic Growth Material – like the soil plants needs (plaster and wood can provide it)
- Little or No Air Movement – mould prefers still air (why you find it behind things)
- Lack of Disturbance – it does not like high traffic areas, including regularly cleaned areas
- Lack of Direct Sunlight – this is somewhat linked to other things on this list
There are certain things that can help with a number of things on that list and that is ventilation. Good ventilation can help keep mould at bay, or reduce the mould problem. This can include good, adequate extractor fans or even Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) units. That said, it is not necessarily a magic solution to remove mould permanently, other things on the list may affect this.
Christmas Mould Tip 4 – Health and Safety
Our next Christmas mould safety tip is to understand the health risks associated with mould. Even this NHS Mould page says “if you have damp and mould in your home you’re more likely to have respiratory problems” it goes on to mention asthma and allergies too. This is why mould need to be taken seriously.
This is especially the case for people who are more at risk which can be the young, old, people with respiratory issues, those more sensitive to mould or who are ill or undergoing medical treatment. If you are concerned about mould affecting your health, contact your doctor directly. We can help with mould services but we are not medical professionals. However, we know the potential risks.
Earlier we mentioned that a number of factors can impact on the formation of mould in the first place and that the unique conditions within the property can contribute to this to a greater or lesser extent. The same goes for how it affects people in the property, like other things, some people are more susceptible than others.
All these things combined help to highlight why mould needs to be taken seriously as it has the potential to cause illness and, in the worst case scenario (as we have seen in the news recently), unfortunately even possibly death.
Other things to think about which may have an effect, could include:
- The volume of mould people are exposed to
- The length of time someone is exposed to mould
- The proximity of the mould (how close you are to it)
- The variety of mould involved (these vary)
- How resistant or susceptible people are to mould
- The existing health of the person (long and short term)
- Other environmental factors that could affect health
If you need help with Christmas mould problems, or any mould problems contact us for help.
Christmas Mould Tip 5 – Mould Prevention
Hopefully you have found our Christmas mould safety tips useful, so on to the last one – we have discussed about the causes of mould, what the risks are and the process of mould remediation. However, clearly it is better to avoid mould problems in the first place. Like many things, mould prevention is better than the cure so hopefully we can help you to have a mould-free festive Christmas and New Year period!
We covered earlier in the article about things that can lead to mould, or cause it to grow more. So to help prevent Christmas mould or winter mould in your home, think about how you can reasonably make the environment less friendly for mould.
Making sure you do this can help, this guide below is taken from the article on stopping mould that we linked to earlier, and is helpful in mould prevention:
If you do have a small mould problem that you feel confident is manageable yourself, do still make sure you use personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself, especially respiratory protection with an appropriate safety mask. If in doubt, get professional help. We’d rather you didn’t have mould in the first place, especially Christmas mould! But if you do need help with mould, contact our local team in York.
Other Articles Related to Christmas Mould and Safety
We hope you liked our Christmas mould safety guide and found it useful, here are some other related blog posts and articles we have collated (with other good tips) on similar winter themed mould or safety topics:
If you need help with any of these things on the list, our friendly and local team based in York will be glad to help you so please do not hesitate to contact us for help or advice. Their extensive knowledge and experience can help guide you through a tricky time for you and your family, including mould problems. We take great pride in helping our local community, so if you need help, contact us today.
At Rainbow Restoration – York & Yorkshire Coast we are experts in Fire and Flood restoration and in Leak Detection and also Water Damage Restoration, so if you need help getting your property back to normal after an incident, get in touch with our friendly local team who will be happy to help you with this. We are based in York and help find water leaks in York.
What are Christmas mould safety tips?
Our new 5 Christmas mould safety tips provide great information and advice about what can cause mould (we explain various factors), how to prevent it and how to get expert help to deal with mould problems. There are a lot of factors to consider with mould, not least the potential health risks to people coming into contact with the mould in their house – including mould in bedrooms, mould in bathrooms or mould in any other area of your house. These mould tips could help you.
What are the causes of Christmas mould?
There are many factors that can cause winter or Christmas mould in your home or business but one of the main ones is that moisture is present to help the mould to grow. Mould needs moisture, so if things like damp, condensation or even a water leak cause moisture to exist, it can help the mould to grow. Getting to the bottom of what is causing that moisture will often help you to understand the cause of the mould, how to stop it returning and also other issues associated with it.