Domestic Bungalow, Swindon: Cleaning and Preventing Mould
When Emerald Damp Specialists stepped inside a severely damp bungalow in Swindon, they knew they had to help. Along with 70 other companies and over 150 volunteers who donated their time and expertise, Emerald Damp Specialists resolved the extreme damp and mould problems at the property free-of-charge. For this project, ensuring that a valued member of the community had a safe and dry home to live in was the priority.
A central heating system leak caused widespread damage throughout the property. This large volume of water rotted the floorboards, causing sections of floor to collapse in the kitchen and living room. As the bungalow’s heating system was not functioning, the high levels of moisture in the property led to black mould growth throughout.
Once the plumbing and heating technicians replaced the boiler and repaired the radiator system, the house was dried out and the flooring was replaced. The next steps were to protect against other forms of dampness, remove the mould from the walls, and repaint with a resilient coating to ensure that the house remains in perfect condition for years to come.
Penetrating damp: stopping the risk
As Swindon is located in South West England, one of the windiest areas of the UK, wind-driven rain can pose a threat to unprotected houses. The north-facing gable wall of the pebbledash property was flagged up as a potential risk for penetrating damp, partially due to its lack of exposure to sunlight. As a result, rainfall took a longer time to dry on the north-facing wall than anywhere else on the property.
“You’ve got to look at the sources of damp from every possible angle,” says Emerald Damp Specialists Managing Director, John Davis Jr. “If the wind’s pushing rain into the wall all winter, it can turn into a big problem.”
Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream is an invisible and breathable water-repellent cream for brick, concrete and stone walls. It is BBA approved — one coat lasts for 25 years. Once treated, rain harmlessly beads off the surface and evaporates instead of soaking in. Stormdry doesn’t let rainwater soak in, preventing penetrating damp and keeping walls dry and warm.
“We like Stormdry because it’s easy to use, lasts ages and stops damp on outside walls. Even if you don’t have a current damp problem, sorting your exterior wall means one less potential moisture source to worry about.”
The team used medium-pile rollers to quickly and efficiently treat the exterior of the property most at risk of penetrating damp. Stormdry Cream goes on white so you can see exactly where you’ve already treated. As it penetrates deeply into the substrate, it becomes invisible to establish a long-lasting barrier to prevent penetrating damp.
Eliminating the mould and finishing touches
Emerald Damp Specialists used the Dryzone Mould Removal and Prevention Kit extensively around the home. The team used low-pressure pump-action sprayers to treat the mould as efficiently as possible with 5-litre cans of Dryzone Mould Eliminator and Dryzone Mould Sanitiser. Walls, ceilings, windows, and bay windows all required treatment.
“The damp problems at this bungalow were severe, so once we had a handle on the problems causing it, we needed a really strong mould remover and something to keep the mould away once we’d treated the wall. The Dryzone mould removers really did the trick.” explained John.
Dryzone Mould Eliminator got rid of the bulk of the black mould on the walls around the house, including in the bathrooms, bedrooms, and living room. The Emerald Damp Specialists team sprayed it directly onto black mould stains, before wiping it away with a microfibre cloth for a clean finish.
Once the wall was reset, the Emerald Damp team used Dryzone Mould Sanitiser to ensure that the whole mould organism was fully removed. The biocidal component of Dryzone Mould Sanitiser destroys mould spores on contact and ensures that the elements of mould growth invisible to the human eye are destroyed.
After the volunteers resolved the severe structural issues, prevented penetrating damp and cleaned away the mould, the priority was to prevent the conditions for future mould growth. The team at Emerald Damp Specialists focused on finding a finish that kept the wall looking great while inhibiting condensation generation.
By increasing the time to condensation, ventilation takes away excess moisture before it settles on surfaces, preventing damp and mould issues.
“Condensation often collects on the ceiling when people use the shower or bath, even in well-ventilated rooms, so we wanted to minimise that risk.”, says John at Emerald. “What we needed was a neutral coloured paint that kept away condensation, and we found that Dryzone was a great fit for that.”
Dryzone Anti-Condensation Paint has a breathable open-pore structure that allows water vapour to escape. Unique glass microspheres in the paint increase the time to condensation, giving time for ventilation to remove warm air from the room and avoid excess moisture. As the paint’s unique structure doesn’t let condensation settle, mould spores cannot grow. The finished surface is warmer to the touch than an untreated wall.
The ceilings in both bathrooms needed repainting. The Emerald Damp Specialists team used medium pile paint rollers to thinly apply 2 even coats of Dryzone Anti-Condensation Paint to each bathroom ceiling at the property. The understated white finish fits in with any bathroom colour scheme and layout.
After 3 hours, the bathroom ceilings were fully dried and ready to use. With this finishing touch applied to the massive renovation job, the occupant was happy to finally return to their dry and clean home, safe in the knowledge that it is protected from damp and mould for years to come.