Tommy’s Tips: Breath of Fresh Air


One of the most repeated problems I am asked to resolve, is the tricky problem of black spot, most commonly found in the bathroom, and kitchen, where exists the ideal conditions of moisture and warmth to create the black spot fungus. This fungus is not uncommon in bedrooms, or even living rooms, and can have disastrous results on clothes and soft furnishings! 

The principal cause is a lack of fresh air, the problem is compounded by central heating, double glazing, and draft excluders, ironically all recent so-called improvements, to the modern home!  I know there is a conflict of interest, when we are constantly told to maximise insulation, install double glazing, and add central heating, to greatly improve the comfort and the thermal values of our homes. However that shouldn’t mean abandoning the provision of valuable fresh air, vital for the good health of our families and our homes!

Bathing, showering, cooking, washing and drying clothes, making tea and coffee, these are all major contributing factors to water condensing within the home, and this moisture needs ventilating properly to avoid fungus problems.  A few simple tips, to try and improve things. If it is too cold to have the bathroom window open whilst showering / bathing, open it immediately afterwards, and leave the bathroom door ajar, open a couple of windows around the house or flat to encourage fresh air to flow throughout.  Try avoiding hanging washing on radiators, for a flat lacking in space, try hanging washing over the bath, with the extractor on to remove some of the moisture created.  Fitting a quality extractor (vented to the outside) is a useful tool, to help any property with condensation issues, but if the problem persists, you may have to consider introducing a proper mechanical air control system, in order to cure the problem in the long term!

From experience, I found that the problems of condensation tend to be considerably worse, in smaller confined spaces, the smaller the bathroom or kitchen, the bigger the problem.  Another common cause, albeit one we have to accommodate now with our very busy lives, is the tumble drier.  The best method of using a tumble dryer regularly, is to insure the machine is vented via an outside wall, which is sometimes not easy in a small flat.  Alternatively if using a condensing dryer, follow the instructions carefully, clean and change the filter regularly.  If after leaving doors and windows open, throughout your property, the problem persists, you may want to consider using a de-humidifier in your home, which works like a vacuum cleaner sucking in air and removing the moisture from it.  (You can hire a de-humidifier, from a hire shop for a trial period to see if this eradicates the problem before making a purchase). This fungus problem, not only makes your home look bad, there is normally a terrible musty smell, and an increased possibility of respiratory illness, so it’s a problem that needs to be taken seriously, and addressed as soon as possible! 

A Tommy tip for cleaning off black spot fungus is to make a solution of bleach, hot water, and liquid soap or cleaning fluid, then apply with a sponge, turning over and using the green pan scrubber side to apply a little elbow grease, which normally removes the fungus if it is not too well entrenched.


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