Do you experience moisture and mold issues on the interior walls of your home? Unfortunately, many people in the Netherlands face this problem, which can be challenging to stop. Whether it’s a stubborn stain or damp walls causing paint and wallpaper to peel, there is a solution. Our experts who work at Schilder ‘s-Hertogenbosch have compiled this guide to provide you with all the information you need to effectively address the problem!

What is Moisture and Mold?

Before tackling moisture and mold, it’s crucial to understand what it is and what causes it. Mold is a type of fungal growth caused by excess moisture inside a building, often in combination with damp walls. The source of moisture can be both internal, which is usually relatively easy to fix, and external, which can be more challenging.

There are several common causes of moisture and mold:

1. Rising Dampness: Caused by moisture from the ground moving upward through the walls of a building via capillary action, resulting from the failure or absence of a damp-proof course. This is a rare form of moisture recognized by wet patches rising on both the interior and exterior walls from the ground.

2. Penetrating Dampness: Caused by an external source of moisture penetrating a building’s outer wall. Older bricks may absorb moisture, or water may enter through a defect in the outer wall, such as a crack. This is one of the most common causes of moisture and can be identified by wet exterior walls and damage to masonry, such as cracks or crumbling bricks.

3. Condensation: Condensation can occur due to inadequate ventilation, especially in winter when people close their windows and use heating.

4. Water Leaks: Leaking pipes or other water leaks can cause isolated spots of mold on ceilings, especially near chimney breasts prone to leaks.

How to Prevent Rising Dampness?

To prevent rising dampness, a moisture-proof injection cream is injected into the masonry. The cream transforms into a liquid once placed in the masonry and can be absorbed, creating a water-repellent barrier that prevents moisture from rising through the ground and up the wall.

Expert painter Schilder Den Bosch recommends seeking professional advice for rising dampness, as it is a less common form of moisture that requires expert handling.

How to Prevent Penetrating Dampness?

Penetrating dampness is a common cause of moisture that you can often address yourself. It’s essential to first check your gutters for any blockages that may lead excessive moisture to a part of the outer wall. If these are clean, inspect your exterior wall for clear signs of damage, such as cracks, crumbling mortar, or peeling bricks. If you discover that your masonry is damaged or in poor condition, this is a crucial indication that moisture is penetrating your exterior walls. Repair these areas with a high-quality exterior filler.

Various waterproof coatings are available on the market designed to prevent water infiltration on outer walls, such as waterproof wall paint and coatings. These coatings are applied directly to exterior walls to create a water-resistant surface that prevents rain from entering the building. This prevents water from seeping into the outer wall while allowing water vapor to escape from the building.

Often, homeowners do not want to alter the appearance of their natural masonry but still want to protect it. This is why coatings are becoming increasingly popular. They penetrate the masonry and, once dry, create a completely invisible, water-repellent coating on bricks, stone, or concrete walls.

How to Prevent Mold from Condensation?

As an internal source of moisture, the best way to prevent condensation is to improve your home’s ventilation. Avoid excessive use of clothes dryers, use extractor fans, and open windows to maintain regular airflow; these are all ways to prevent the buildup of condensation leading to mold. Additionally, try to keep furniture away from walls, as it can trap moisture in one place, leading to significant black mold spots. In winter, when opening windows can result in heat loss, choosing a dehumidifier may be a simple way to regulate humidity levels. Check out this helpful guide on reducing winter humidity in a house for more tips.

If mold is growing near window and door frames, it may indicate that these areas are not watertight, leading to condensation. If this is the case, you should address this issue to prevent mold growth on your windowsill.

If mold is growing in bathrooms, kitchens, or other cold walls, anti-condensation paint is a good option. Anti-condensation paint is designed to prevent the formation of condensation on interior walls and ceilings. They achieve this by absorbing and retaining heat, reducing the likelihood of condensation.

How to Prevent Mold from Water Leaks?

Moisture spots and stains on ceilings, especially near water fixtures and chimneys, indicate water leakage. Ultimately, just like with other sources of moisture, mold and moisture spots persist until the core problem is resolved. Isolating and repairing the leakage area should be done as soon as possible, as it’s impossible to prevent mold growth until this is addressed.

Saying Goodbye to Mold & Repainting

After addressing the ultimate source of moisture, you’ll likely want to repaint the interior walls of your home to make them look new again.

The first step is cleaning the walls of mold. It’s crucial to wear protective gear such as safety goggles, gloves, and a mask to protect yourself from mold. You can use a mold removal solution or a bucket of hot water and dish soap, depending on your preference. Wipe the mold thoroughly from the wall with a damp cloth. If you’re cleaning wallpaper, be cautious about the amount of water you use, as it can cause the wallpaper to peel.

Once the wall is completely clean, you can start painting. There are several anti-moisture paints on the market, as well as primers that can prevent moisture stains.