On average most employees spend 7-10 hours each day at work, and nobody wants to work in a damp office. Damp can cause mould on walls and furniture, as well as rot in wood and health issues.
The NHS tell us: “If you have damp and mould in your home, you’re more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies, or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system”.
What Is Damp and where does it come from?
Excess moisture in a building can result in damp which leads to mould, this can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp from basements or ground floors, rain seeping in via roof damage, blocked gutters, or window frames.
Some typical causes of dampness are:
- Too much moisture: Routine activities like cooking, washing, showering, drying clothes and boiling the kettle moisture and even breathing all cause moisture. One person can add four pints of water to their environment through just these few simple activities in a single day. Due to double glazing and insulation which are trying to keep the heat in, it is very difficult for this humid air to leave.
- A lack of ventilation: Buildings with poor ventilation are more likely to experience condensation and mould growth. Warm, humid air can leave the house or office thanks to adequate air flow. However, if there is inadequate ventilation, this warm air will leave moisture on the coldest available surface, which is typically windows or exterior walls.
- Poor heating: More moisture can be held by warm air than by cooler air. This implies that the amount of condensation you might experience depends on the temperature of the air in your home or office and the impermeable surfaces.
The Most Common Places to Find Moisture
It is important to figure out the source of excess moisture in your building if you have mould or damp. When you know what is producing the damp, you can fix it or take steps to reduce the moisture in the air. You might need to hire a professional to remove the mould, but if there’s only a tiny quantity, you might be able to do it yourself.
Here are some common places to look for condensation in your home and office:
- Water build-up on windows horizontal frames, which if not controlled will develop into black mould.
- In cabinets or behind large furniture positioned against an exterior or stair wall. Possibly seen as a powdery, black, or grey mould.
- Around the skirting on first-floor walls, paper peeling away, paint bubbling, plaster falling off, or white tide stains.
- On ceilings.
- Under the roof and at the top of the walls.
- Chimney breasts.
How can you prevent excess moisture build up?
If you regularly check your building for any dampness, you can easily put preventative measures in place to stop the dampness from turning into mould. Keep an eye out for a variety of indicators, such as damp spots on the ceiling or wall, indications of dampness on exterior walls, rot on exterior doors, and condensation or water at the base of windows. Early detection of damp can help you save money because there won’t be as much of a mess to clean up.
Here are a few steps you can take to prevent moisture and damp occurring in the future:
- Moisture Traps: these will catch some of the excess moisture in the air
- Remove condensation on windows regularly: wipe away with a paper towel regularly (you could put this on your cleaner’s job list) and get regular interior window cleans (Solutions Services can quote for these)
- Install Double Glazing: Double glazing is made up of 2 panes of glass trapping a layer of air in between acting as a buffer between the warm air inside and the cold air outside reducing condensation. Upgrading your windows ones with vents will allow you circulate air in your offices better.
- Do regular building checks: Assign a member of staff to check the whole building regularly for any maintenance issues and signs of damp
- Dehumidifier: If you find your building is struggling with humidity try purchasing an electric dehumidifier
- Move furniture away from walls: let the air circulate behind them
- Clean out gutters regularly: blocked gutters will overflow and water will run down the exterior of the building causing damp to seep through to internal walls. Solutions services can provide a gutter cleaning service.
- Boost ventilation: whilst we all want to trap in the heat it is very beneficial to open the windows for a while to allow damp air to leave and dry air to enter.