Mould growth found in a loft in Manchester

6 June 2019

Mould can be a major pain point for thousands of homeowners throughout the UK. It’s important to not only accurately identify the cause but to deal with it quickly and effectively. On the outskirts of Manchester lies a period terrace home, the owners were concerned about mould growth in their loft and the effects it could have on their growing family. 

What causes mould growth? 

The most common causes of mould are high moisture content in the air and a lack of ventilation within the property. For this particular customer, there had been a water leak within the space and inadequate ventilation in the roof space as well as over insulating the area. 

Did you know?

Inhaling or touching mould spores can irritate the airways and skin. This then causes congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation. If the mould is left untreated and you are constantly exposed to high levels of indoor dampness, it can reduce lung function and cause chronic health problems such as asthma.

What does mould growth look like?

The mould growth we can see in the picture below was caused by over insulating the roof void and as a result, creating a lack of ventilation in the roof space. Insulation was found to have been pushed into the eves of the building as well as between the rafters. As a result of this excess insulation, the eaves and soffit suffered from poor ventilation

The roof timbers and insulation had become saturated resulting initially in the mould growth that you can see growing on the timbers. The condensation issue, if left unresolved, could also lead to another potentially far more damaging issue – that of dry rot. There is always the potential danger of a dry rot outbreak as dry rot can occur where conditions are still and humid and the moisture content of the wood is in excess of 30%.

Without doubt, it makes more sense to solve a condensation problem and improve the ventilation in an area than to tackle a dry rot problem that could be spreading to other parts of the building and creating a far larger problem.

Mouldy timbers is a roof space caused by poor ventilation and condensation

How did you treat the mouldy timbers in the loft space?

It was vital that the customer targeted the source of the moisture and improved ventilation to allow the moisture-laden air to exit the property quickly. Timberwise’s solution to the mould growth problem on the rafters was to remove the mould using a mould eradication kit.

Made up of a mould wash concentrate and anti-mould paint additive, the two solutions work together to effectively remove them from problem areas. The kit provided a fast, simple and cost-effective solution to remove the mould. Treating the timbers with a fungicidal wash protected the timbers from any future mould growth. Ventilation in the roof space was also increased by removing excess insulation from the eves. The final part of increasing ventilation is vital otherwise the loft space will remain an ideal breeding ground for a more sinister outbreak, dry rot.

Dry rot (Serpula Lacrymans) is a term used to describe a very specific and unique type of wood rot. A destructive force in any home, dry rot will always look for a new food source and can spread through homes with little mercy, destroying the property’s structural integrity in its path. This would of not only devastated the homeowner but also their neighbours as well. 

What should I do if I discover mould in my home?

Timberwise in Manchester are experts in the treatments of moulds and can offer specialist, specific advice for you and your property. We supply complete solutions for the control and elimination of condensation and controlling persistent problems with high humidity and associated mould growth.

Solving the problem with ventilation and mould reduces significantly the potential health hazards associated with such growth. For advice or to arrange a survey call 0800 288 8660 or complete our online survey request form.

Originally published 25 January 2011, updated 6th June 2019.