23 Mar 2020

Wardrobe Malfunction – Mouldy Clothes Alert!

Wardrobe Malfunction – Mouldy Clothes Alert!

No, this is not fashion guidance for the sartorially challenged, this is guidance on what to do when horrible mould invades your wardrobes or cupboards!


At this time of year we always get a few calls from distressed customers whose clothes have been spoiled by mould growth where they least expected it – in their wardrobe.  However, the exceptionally wet weather has driven an explosion in this problem so we thought it was time to explain why it happens and what you can do about it.


Firstly mould in wardrobes almost always happens with built-in units which are attached to an outside wall, as opposed to an internal wall with a room on the other side.   This is important because outside walls are usually much colder than internal walls, simply because they are exposed to the elements.   Many older properties don’t have any insulation built into the walls and if you touch them they often feel very cold indeed.   Recent storms and heavy rain have left many walls with a high moisture content and a damp wall is a cold wall!


Unfortunately very cold surfaces in our warm homes tend to attract moisture (condensation).  Windows are cold to the touch and you will have noticed that condensation often forms on the panes during cold weather.  It is a fact that warm air can carry more moisture than cold air (hence the violence of tropical storms) but it readily turns back to liquid when it meets a cold surface.   


What is less noticeable is when moisture gathers on cold walls.  It may be less obvious (because wall surfaces are slightly more absorbent than glass) but the moisture is still there.  It is this moisture combined with a lack of ventillation to dry it out that causes the problem of mould.   Mould only needs two things to thrive: a nutrient source and a ready supply of moisture.   The nutrient source can be any organic material – your favourite top or jeans will do and the moisture which is condensing on the cold back wall of your wardrobe.


So what precautions can you take to deal with this invasive and destructive mould problem:


1.  Improve airflow within the wardrobe.  

Good ventillation is the enemy of black mould so have a clear out to give garments room to hang with air flowing around them.  If possible, try to make sure that clothes have minimal contact with the cold wall surface.  Leave the doors open slightly to allow air to circulate.


2.  Improve ventillation in the room.

Make sure brick vents have not been covered up by furniture etc.  Open trickle vents in double glazed windows.  If air quality in the room is generally poor then open the windows slightly, especially in winter.


3.  Clean up.

Often mould in wardrobes goes undiscovered for some time and if it has already damaged your clothing, strip everything out and launder / dry clean the garments.  The inside of the wardrobe will no doubt have active mould growth which once established will continue to spread if left unchecked.   Kill the fungus with Kingfisher Mould Cure the effective treatement to eradicate black mould spores. 


4.  Re-decorate.

Having killed the black mould with Mould Cure you should repaint the inside of the wardrobe using Kingfisher’s unique Thermapaint double action formula which is both anti-condensation and anti-mould.  You paint it on just like any ordinary emulsion paint but it has special heat reflecting properties and mould inhibiting elements to prevent black mould re-growth.


Having taken the above precautions you can now reclaim and perhaps re-stock your precious wardrobe space with confidence!