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Mould on skirting boards

  • 30-05-2021 10:38pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9,485 ✭✭✭ castletownman


    This is a growing problem. Noticed greenish mould developing on the skirting board in my bedroom, directly underneath the window two weeks ago. Cleaned it appropriately, only for it to develop again within a week. Went through the same process, but it's starting to grow again.

    The thing is, there is laminate flooring down in the bedroom (laid towards the end of last year), and the section of flooring nearest the problem area has a dampness on it. Nowhere else in the room has mould developing, nor is any other area of the laminate flooring damp. The flooring was done by a professional.

    There are no pipes running either under the skirting or along the walls of the bedroom. It is in an extension built fifteen years ago that laid disused and unfinished until I converted into my own flat at the start of Covid.

    Googling it doesn't really bring any definitive answers.

    Could there be an issue with the underlay, or water caught underneath the floor?


Comments

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BryanF


    What is wall construction? And is it ground or first? Is there a open window at night for ventilation?


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,485 ✭✭✭ castletownman


    BryanF wrote: »
    What is wall construction? And is it ground or first? Is there a open window at night for ventilation?

    The wall the problem is concentrated on is a concrete exterior wall on the ground floor. Open window every day to let fresh air in.

    There is no obvious draining issues immediately outside or anywhere around the house. Shores are clear and water dissipates.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,897 ✭✭✭ chooseusername


    Check the ground level outside is at least 6" below dpc


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,294 ✭✭✭ hesker


    I know you said no pipes but do you have a rad under this window. Possible very slow leak.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,485 ✭✭✭ castletownman


    hesker wrote: »
    I know you said no pipes but do you have a rad under this window. Possible very slow leak.

    Radiator is on the wall directly opposite. And no mould anywhere else in the room.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 438 ✭✭ mike_2009


    What ventilation does the room have normally (besides window) - is it passive ventilation - is this unobstructed and open (some have vents which can be closed)? Do you have anything that shows you humidity levels vs time? Is the room used during the day - for what, office work or a gym? Any exercise equipment involved? Are there any showers/bathroom immediately adjacent to this room, how do they vent? What is the airflow from these high humidity areas to this room, a spoke stick or snuffed out match might give a clue. Is the door to the rest of the house normally open/closed during the daytime and then what is it a night time? You mention use as a flat, does someone sleep in this room?


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,082 Mod ✭✭✭✭ 2011


    Can you verify that damp course been installed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,485 ✭✭✭ castletownman


    mike_2009 wrote: »
    What ventilation does the room have normally (besides window) - is it passive ventilation - is this unobstructed and open (some have vents which can be closed)? Do you have anything that shows you humidity levels vs time? Is the room used during the day - for what, office work or a gym? Any exercise equipment involved? Are there any showers/bathroom immediately adjacent to this room, how do they vent? What is the airflow from these high humidity areas to this room, a spoke stick or snuffed out match might give a clue. Is the door to the rest of the house normally open/closed during the daytime and then what is it a night time? You mention use as a flat, does someone sleep in this room?

    Room is used as a bedroom. Window opened every day to let fresh air in (although I am starting to think the spell of bad weather may have contributed as kept the window closed). No vent. Have no gauge or meter for humidity levels either

    Next door to the bedroom is the bathroom-no vent, open window to let steam out after using shower.

    There is a small nook outside the bedroom with two doors- one to the left is the bathroom, other one leads into kitchen. Cannot say there is a set routine in terms of the door being open or closed- I tend to close it, the woman tends to leave it open.

    It definitely seems to be the warmest room in the flat in terms of heat retention anyway.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BryanF


    Leave the window in bathroom and bedroom open at all times for the next few weeks and see does the problem reduce. Clean the mould with baking soda and vinegar first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭ PMBC


    A very interesting case.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,897 ✭✭✭ chooseusername


    If it's only underneath the window then
    it could be a faulty drip channel under the sill.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,485 ✭✭✭ castletownman


    If it's only underneath the window then
    it could be a faulty drip channel under the sill.

    Would there not be at least signs of mould or watermarks or anything on the wall or underneath the sill itself then? There is literally nowhere else its growing apart from the top lip of the skirting boards downwards.

    On Sunday night, I moved the wardrobe in the corner, and mould had developed behind it too. This was a lot more darker and there was a smell of dampness too, presumably because it had lay undiscovered for longer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,897 ✭✭✭ chooseusername


    Would there not be at least signs of mould or watermarks or anything on the wall or underneath the sill itself then? There is literally nowhere else its growing apart from the top lip of the skirting boards downwards.

    On Sunday night, I moved the wardrobe in the corner, and mould had developed behind it too. This was a lot more darker and there was a smell of dampness too, presumably because it had lay undiscovered for longer.
    The drip channel is on the outside sill.
    It could be letting rainwater run into the wall which could find it's way across
    to the inside via Insulation, wall ties or just crud in the cavity.
    Maybe condensation on the inside of the window is finding its way down to the skirting.
    Is there plasterboard on the wall ,dot and dab, or battens perhaps?


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,268 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat



    On Sunday night, I moved the wardrobe in the corner, and mould had developed behind it too. This was a lot more darker and there was a smell of dampness too, presumably because it had lay undiscovered for longer.

    this is because the wardrobe acted as internal insulation and made the inner blockwork "cold" to the point that water vapour condensed to droplets there

    whats happening at your skirting is a result of the cold bridge coming up from the rising walls and making that area colder than the higher part of the blockwork, and the skirting board is forming mould due to it being made from an organic material. is the skirting board painted? im going to suggest not.

    Its showing up now because you are only really starting to use this space for permanent habituation over the last year. it being the warmest room (possible due to its sun aspect?) actually adds to the problem as condensation happens when the temperature between the air and the surface is widest. therefore the dew point is being reached in the room

    the proper course of action is clean the mould off, drill a proper 6" hold in the wall vent and install something like this for best results, or if looking for a cheap option, a hit and miss grill


    also, dont dry clothes on rads in the room


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭ PMBC


    How high is the ground outside of that particular wall - is it higher than the rest of the house? Is there any material outside such as soil piled up against that wall?


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,485 ✭✭✭ castletownman


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    this is because the wardrobe acted as internal insulation and made the inner blockwork "cold" to the point that water vapour condensed to droplets there

    whats happening at your skirting is a result of the cold bridge coming up from the rising walls and making that area colder than the higher part of the blockwork, and the skirting board is forming mould due to it being made from an organic material. is the skirting board painted? im going to suggest not.

    Its showing up now because you are only really starting to use this space for permanent habituation over the last year. it being the warmest room (possible due to its sun aspect?) actually adds to the problem as condensation happens when the temperature between the air and the surface is widest. therefore the dew point is being reached in the room

    the proper course of action is clean the mould off, drill a proper 6" hold in the wall vent and install something like this for best results, or if looking for a cheap option, a hit and miss grill


    also, dont dry clothes on rads in the room

    Thanks for the advice. I shall look into it.

    The skirting board is painted (I did it myself). Does the same advice still apply in that scenario?


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,268 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Thanks for the advice. I shall look into it.

    The skirting board is painted (I did it myself). Does the same advice still apply in that scenario?

    it certainly can yes. it could be worse if it was unpainted


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Starla21


    Hello, just wondering how you got on?

    I’m having the same issue but on a larger scale.

    Got new skirting boards all through house after getting floors done - tiles in kitchen and laminate elsewhere and there is mould growing on every single skirting board. Tried everything but it’s relentless, even in the hallway where there’s no furniture and lots of light and air - it starts in the grooves. It’s horrendous behind wardrobes - like you it had a great chance to grow before being spotted there.

    It’s mdf skirting board- had wood before and never had a problem….

    I’m beginning to think it’s the skirting board itself.

    Do you know if your skirting is mdf? Is it from Deanta?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,095 ✭✭✭ Yellow_Fern


    MDF might be a tiny denser than a wooden one and a bit more prone in theory but that still shouldn't happen. Get a little humidity sensor. The cost about 10 Euro and see if you are regularly going above 65% relative humidity.



  • Registered Users Posts: 404 ✭✭ ec_pc


    In my experience MDF very prone to moisture and humidity. When our house was drying out (floors, plaster etc) some of the MDF window boards were covered in green mould that would constantly reappear. Builder was sure it would disappear once house dried out and he was right, it has not returned.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,485 ✭✭✭ castletownman



    Sorry for the late reply, only seen it now.

    Absolutely no change, only that it might take longer to re-appear, and could cover the MDF one day and only show up in patches the next stay. Still limited to the same section of the room though. Sometimes I think it is weather permitting (was less frequent during the heatwave and more liable to be widespread during duller conditions).

    I am settled on changing to wooden skirting boards though as soon as my carpenter is available.



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