Do Cavity Walls Prevent Mould?

Thursday 15th June 2023

Ellen Warren

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Cavity wall under construction

CONTENTS

Mould typically develops due to environmental problems or construction errors, resulting in rising damp. Both interior and exterior changes may be necessary to prevent mould growth, such as installing double-glazed windows or filling cavity walls.

You can contact our team at ICE Cleaning for help if you are struggling to prevent mould and the growth is out of control. Our Dewpoint-accredited technicians offer mould remediation services nationwide, effectively identifying the source and preventing its return.

Read on to learn more about cavity walls and if they prevent mould.

What is mould?

When your home meets certain factors, a type of fungus will begin growing in those vulnerable areas of your home. Mould often grows in dark, green clusters across walls or ceilings. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also quickly become dangerous if not tackled quickly enough.

Mould requires a warm and moist environment that provides organic matter to feed on to start growing. The most vulnerable areas in your home are often the kitchen and bathroom because of the wet surfaces and humid air.

Mould is proven to affect developing children, causing asthma, and triggering mould allergies in those who already have allergies or are immunocompromised. Mould allergies could result in cold-like symptoms such as:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Irritated eyes
  • Irritated skin
  • Runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

What is a cavity wall?

A cavity wall is a construction of two walls with a gap between them. Sometimes it is referred to as a hollow wall, but it is more well-known as a cavity wall.

The earliest record of this method started in the 1920s and continued into the introduction of insulation in the 1970s. Since the 1990s, it has become a compulsory building practice, but older homes pre-1920s only have single walls.

Cavity walls resist extreme weather like wind and rain, providing more insulation without electrical interference. Most cavity walls are common in buildings that use masonry, like bricks due to their absorbent and strong nature.

Do cavity walls prevent mould?

Although cavity walls withstand excess rainfall, they will still absorb it, which can lead to penetrating damp occurring in buildings. This happens if cavity walls are built poorly with incorrect fillings or a lack of insulation within them.

Damp occurring in cavity walls are less likely to occur in homes built post-1980s, but buildings before then could be at risk of allowing damp. Homes in areas where wind-driven rain is more common are also considered unsuitable for cavity walls and use other construction methods.

A damp or moisture survey can help determine whether your cavity wall is harbouring damp. If it is, this could leave you vulnerable to damage caused by moisture and mould growth.

Although cavity walls have some advantages to preventing mould, there is a possibility that they can exacerbate it by containing large amounts of damp.

How to prevent mould growth

If you are concerned about your wall cavity containing damp, you must contact a damp surveyor to conduct a moisture survey. They determine if there is damp in your cavity walls and may be able to help you identify any other sources of it.

You must control the environment in your home by keeping humidity levels below 50%, which you can do by purchasing a dehumidifier or air conditioner. Other ways to prevent mould from growing include:

  • Ventilating your home often
  • Closing kitchen and bathroom doors when in use
  • Wiping down condensation on windows
  • Drying your clothes outside or on a heated clothes horse
  • Keeping gutters clear
  • Surveying your roof often
  • Keeping your home clean and decluttering it
  • Installing extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Replacing your windows with double-glazed glass

What to do if you see mould in your home

If you see mould in your home, you may want to wipe away the surface mould yourself with commercial cleaning products or DIY solutions like vinegar. However, you must not do this as this could encourage the release of mould spores if you scrub or aggravate the surface.

Mould spreads through these airborne spores which are always present in buildings. Because of its nature to linger, it simply waits for the right environmental factors before it settles and grows. Even if you remove the surface mould, it will grow back because of the present spores.

Instead, you must not interact with it and take steps to prevent the further spread of mould. You can keep your home safe from a complete takeover with the above steps. You should also contact a mould removal company that offers a thorough remediation service.

Get in touch

If you require assistance identifying the source of the mould, our expert technicians here at ICE Cleaning can help. Our mould removal service can remove all traces of the mould in your property, and our lifetime guarantee* will ensure that if it returns, we will come back to tackle the issue again for free.

If you would like to book a damp survey or arrange a mould remediation service, get in touch with our friendly service team at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year, nationwide and provide emergency cleaning services at your earliest convenience.

*subject to advisories

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