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How To Stop Mould Growing Behind Furniture

How To Stop Mould Growing Behind Furniture

If condensation in your home is not dealt with, it can lead to damp areas on walls and ceilings where mould can grow on crumbling plaster.  Mould can grow quickly and spread across large areas to create unsightly dark patches that can be difficult to remove.  While mould is most commonly seen in wet rooms such as bathrooms where the humidity levels are highest, it can form colonies almost anywhere in your home including behind furniture where it is difficult to detect.

What Causes Mould to Grow Behind Furniture

Mould problems start from microscopic spores that are light enough to be carried on the air as it moves around your home.  The average home contains millions of these spores, but most of the time they don’t have the right conditions to grow, and they make up a small part of your normal household dust, however if the mould spores find a friendly environment, they can quickly come out of their dormant state and begin to grow.

Mould thrives in damp conditions with poor airflow.  A lack of movement in the air allows the amount of mould to build up without being carried away, while damp provides it with the ability to start to consume nutrients found in materials such as plaster or wood.

The spaces behind furniture can provide the perfect environment for mould to build up – particularly if the humidity levels in your home are high.

If furniture is placed close to external walls in your home, the conditions are perfect for condensation to form.  Air trapped behind the furniture will cool when it comes into contact with the surface of the wall and release its moisture.  This can quickly soak into the plaster and create a damp patch where mould can be trapped and start to grow.

Cleaning Mould from Behind Furniture

If you have problems with condensation in your home – including streaming windows in the morning, it is a good idea to regularly check for mould on walls and ceilings and clean it away as quickly as possible.

Mould does not usually have a strong smell, so you might not notice that it is growing behind furniture unless you physically move the item and look on the wall behind it.

If you do see mould patches growing you should clean it away as quickly as possible, as the spores that the mould releases can be an allergen and cause problems for people with respiratory conditions such as asthma.  Some types of black mould release a mycotoxin that can be very harmful to health.  If you are concerned that you have toxic black mould (Stachybotrys Chartarum), you should have it professionally removed.

Removing mould is quite straightforward.  You can use a special fungicidal cleaner or dilute domestic bleach.  Prepare by wearing eye protection, gloves and a face covering so you don’t inhale the spores from the mould as you are cleaning it away.

Spray the cleaning fluid onto the patches of mould and then wipe the mould away before rinsing the area.  Mould can easily spread from the cloths you use when cleaning, so dispose of the cloth when you have finished, and wash any clothes immediately.

Preventing Mould from Growing Behind Furniture

Once you have removed the mould, it is important to stop it growing back.  This means taking steps to stop providing a good environment for mould to grow in the first place.

Avoid putting furniture up against the wall.  If possible don’t put large items of furniture against external walls, but if the layout of your room doesn’t give you the option, allowing a two-inch gap between the back of the furniture and the wall should leave enough room for air to circulate.

Unfortunately, preventing the damp conditions that allow mould to thrive can be more difficult than simply moving furniture around.  There are steps you can take to reduce the amount of problems with condensation in your home by keeping bathroom and kitchen doors closed when in use and ensuring that you run your extractor fans properly to reduce humidity. 

If condensation remains a problem in your home even after taking steps to reduce it, then you should consider improving your ventilation such as with a modern whole house system such as Atmos Positive Input Ventilation (PIV), as your current system may not be suitable for your needs.

Our local ventilation specialists can visit your home to carry out a free home survey where they will look at the sources of moisture in your air and measure the levels of airflow around your home.  By understanding what the root cause of mould growth behind your furniture is, they can advise you about the best solution to prevent condensation for good and stop mould from becoming a health risk in your home.

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  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

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