Our mouldy, damp house
You know when you do some Instagram stories about something really mundane and you don't really expect anyone to engage with them, but they are more popular than anything you've posted in the last 2 years? Well that's what happened when I stated talking about my mouldy bathroom and wet windows. You can see my Instagram story highlights about it here.
Our house is a 60s bungalow, with a single storey extension on the back that we did in 2018/19. The front of the house is north facing and has old double glazed windows. We had cavity wall insulation at some point, which I've learned could have caused the mould and condensation.
Our bathroom looked like this. It's pretty depressing. We regularly clear the mould but it just comes back so quickly. The window gets new mould within a couple of days of clearing it. It's grim!
This is my two daughters room, the condensation was bad, but they also had mould on one wall, in one corner and on this window and I was really worried about them sleeping in a mouldy room.
Even in the new part of the house the windows were absolutely dripping wet every morning.
I'm really pleased to say that I think we have solved our mould and damp issues!
The main thing we've done is had a PIV installed. A PIV is a Positive Input Ventilation system - a unit that sits in the loft and sucks in air, filters it and pumps it around the house through a ceiling fitting (which looks like a large bathroom extractor). It essentially pumps dry air through the house, eliminating damp air that causes condensation. We got ours from Envirovent who have been great.
I've had loads of questions on Instagram so here are the answers to the most commonly asked ones:
Is it noisy? No. I am SO sensitive to noise, and I don't notice it at all. If you stand right by it you can hear it, but it's not like a fan or extractor. It's very gentle.
What about Summer? It switches itself off when the loft reaches a certain temperature. Condensation shouldn't be an issue in Summer.
How much does it cost? DM me if you'd like to know the cost of ours, I haven't listed the price just because it varies by house size and prices change over time. You can get a quote from Envirovent here.
Is it a pain to install? Not at all, we had 2 guys out to install ours and they were done in a couple of hours and left the house exactly as they found it. They were super neat and there was no mess at all. It looks really neatly done in the loft and the things of ours they needed to move were all left well stacked and tidy.
Does it work straight away? We did notice a difference straight away but we were still getting condensation, so we spoke to Envirovent who recommended turning the unit up. Since then no condensation! I think we'll be able to turn it down one when we get to slightly warmer weather, it's still very cold as I'm writing this, we even had a bit of snow last night! For most people you should notice a difference straight away and for the condensation to be completely gone in a few days.
In summary we're super happy with our Envirovent unit, they were recommended a lot when I first posted about our mould so I know lots of our followers have had success with them too. You can check them out here.
We have used Cillit Bang black mould remover spray (thank you to @ecomodernstudios for recommending this) to get rid of the mould. I did try some more natural things first (white vinegar is meant to kill it off but doesn't actually remove it so it still looks awful) but this stuff actually leaves the walls white again (it contains bleach so wear old clothing!)
We need to prep and paint the walls. Lots of the paint has flaked off so it's not a job I'm looking forward to much! A few people recommended Zinsser paint, they have a post here about painting over mould so I might go with what they suggest.
For now, I'm enjoying waking up to a beautiful view out of our condensation free windows every morning! I hope this summary helps anyone else who's suffering with a damp or mouldy house. Message me on Instagram if you have any questions.