Damp is a problem everyone dreads, but unfortunately, it’s also relatively common. Even though damp is accompanied by a number of smaller cleaning challenges, the good news is that treating dampness is relatively easy as long as it is caught early. The correct method for getting rid of damp varies according to the location of the problem – the guidelines below should help you find an option tailored to your home.
Before you start getting rid of damp in your home, it is important to take the following precautions.
- Always keep animals and children away from mould, and wear rubber or latex gloves as well as an air filter mask when approaching it.
- Check the label on any cleaning products you use to check that you apply them safely and effectively.
- Test all products on a small, inconspicuous area of the surface you are cleaning.
If there is a serious damp issue in your home, consult a professional for advice.
How to Get Rid of Damp
Damp is a combination of problems – these easy steps explain how to solve each one, helping you get your home back to normal in no time.
1) Eliminate the causes of condensation
In most cases, condensation is the primary cause of dampness in any home – therefore, it is imperative that you discover the primary cause and adapt your home and habits accordingly. Serious damp issues – suggested by large areas of mould or water stains, among other things – should be looked at by a professional, as fixing the underlying problem could mean making structural repairs to your home.
- Start ventilating your house more often, opening windows whenever possible.
- Reduce the amount of steam produced in your home. Covering pots and pans while cooking and drying clothes outside can make a huge difference to the amount of condensation in your home, and can help towards getting rid of damp.
- If condensation continues, the next step is to check for leaking pipes, as this can also be a cause of damp.
2) Select an effective cleaning solution
Most mould can be removed quickly, and without a lot of hassle. Bleach is the most effective solution to kill off any mould – the Domestos range of bleach-based cleaners is a great asset. Before using bleach and dealing with mould there are several health and safety precautions that must be taken: read the label of your chosen product for safety instructions, always wear gloves, work in a well ventilated area, and wear an air filter mask.
3) Remove mould
The method you use for treating damp mould patches depends on the size of the problem and where it is located. We have a number of articles here on Cleanipedia with detailed tips on how to treat damp and mould on different surfaces, including mould and mildew on walls, mould on floors, and black mould in the bathroom and kitchen – just use our search toolbar to find the best one for you. As a basic guideline, the tips below can be useful:
- Clothing – if your clothing has been attacked by mould, the treatment will depend on the severity of the problem; if too much has been eaten away, you may have to throw the garment out. For small patches of mould, pre-soak your garment in a mixture of white vinegar and warm water for half an hour, then wash on the highest heat your garment allows.
- Walls, bathrooms, and windows – It is important to note again that you should be wearing gloves and a mask, neither of which can be removed before you have finished cleaning the area.
- Begin by wiping down the infected area with a damp cloth.
- Next, spray your bleach onto the mould, and leave for a few minutes to treat the problem.
- Wash the area down with water, using the cloth to work off stubborn marks if necessary.
- You can keep repeating the above steps until the mould has gone, but make sure not to rub the surface too hard as this can cause further damage.
- Discard of any waste material in a bin bag, keeping it away from children and animals. Once you have removed all the mould, hoover around the area to clear any remaining pieces.
- Wash all clothes that may have been in contact with mould straight away, keeping them separate from other items.
4) Discard damaged belongings
Sometimes damp can seep into clothing or other household objects and cause irreversible damage. On these unfortunate occasions, treating damp is not practical, and it is best to discard the damaged goods as they are sometimes beyond repair.
Treating damp is possible, and can even be easy – just follow the steps above, and always wear the necessary protective gear. Damp is harder to tackle the longer it goes on, so if you have this problem, make sure to treat it as quickly as possible!
For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.
Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.