Mold And Damp
Mold is very bad for your health and can cause serious respiratory illness. So make sure that you don't ignore even small patches of mold in your home. They could be concealing a larger problem, like rising damp, water leaks or condensation. Don't just paint over the mold and hope it will go away. If you don't deal with the source of the mold it will only return and ruin your new paintwork.
Rising damp is the type of damp which comes up from the ground and often causes mold and running damp inside the house. Although modern houses have damp courses built in that prevent rising damp, older houses often do not. There are a variety of solutions to rising damp. For a temporary solution under a window, for example, you can clean and dry the area and then seal it with a special type of paint sealer before painting. This will help prevent the damp ruining your decorations. You may even need to replace the window frame if that is rotten. However, this won't solve the problem of the rising damp. For a more permanent solution you need to effectively retrofit a damp course in the masonry by using injected chemicals to create an artificial barrier to the rising ground water. If you do this you may also need to have a professional replastering of the affected areas.
If you have a water penetration problem the first sign may be mold. After cleaning away the mold, you have to find and fix the water problem. You may need to call in a professional for advice if you can't see the problem straight away. Once you have traced the problem and fixed it you will need to leave the area to dry before redecorating.
In many old ill-ventilated houses and apartments you can get condensation running down the walls and not only in the bathroom or the kitchen, where you might expect it. This is especially true if you use forms of heating that create excess moisture, like gas fires or kerosene. One way to reduce condensation is to increase your ventilation, for example using an extractor fan in the bathroom and kitchen. You may also need to use a dehumidifier to help deal with the problem. If possible you should also change your heating to a dryer form of heat such as a wood stove, electric heaters or central heating.
It is most important to remove mold properly before decorating as otherwise the mold will just return and ruin your newly decorated room. If it is just a small patch of mold you can do it yourself. You should wear a disposable mask, eye goggles and rubber gloves to protect yourself from the minute mold spores and then clean thoroughly with detergent. Rinse with clean water and then dry the area as quickly as possible. It is also a good idea to vacuum the whole area with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter vacuum cleaner. However if you have serious mold in your house you may need to call in the professionals.
Remember if you have mold in your house, not only is it unsightly and unpleasant it is also extremely bad for your health. So by taking care of any mold or damp patches before decorating you are not only saving money in the long run but you are also taking care of your health.