Damp in households is an issue that most people are familiar with, yet nobody ever looks forward to dealing with. The mould that grows around windows or doors should always be dealt with promptly as long-term exposure can have health implications.
Luckily, most of the mould that grows in homes can be scrubbed off easily with a sponge, water and bleach, but what about any fitted bedroom furniture, such as custom-fitted wardrobes?
This short guide is designed to help you identify if your wardrobes have any damp issues and the steps you can take to overcome them.
Causes of Damp in Wardrobes
Depending on where they’re installed, fitted bedroom wardrobes can be affected by damp or mould if it’s lingering in the air. Given that they’re fixed to walls, floors and ceilings, air circulation behind the fitted wardrobe panels is almost entirely cut off. As with any fitted furniture, getting access to the affected areas is tricky and treating the mould needs to be done carefully to prevent damage to the wood.
When you spot damp, you should always identify the cause for it before anything else. In many cases, this helps you pinpoint the best remedy and way to solve the problem. Typically, mould grows when there is an excessive amount of moisture building up in a specific area. In a large fitted wardrobe, this could be because of:
- Condensation – when you have a built-in wardrobe against an exterior wall, the area behind it is concealed from the rest of the room, resulting in the space not receiving the heat and air circulation it once had. These trapped spaces can get humid if they’re heated slightly with no ventilation, making them a prime location for mould to grow. It’s worth noting that free standing wardrobes are prone to this too, but they have the benefit of being movable. In contrast, bespoke fitted wardrobes don’t have that luxury, although they have considerable other advantages.
- Wet clothing – after washing their clothes, many people like hanging clothes that are ‘nearly dry’, as this method has been known to prevent creases. While mostly dry clothes are, on the surface, seemingly OK to hang in a wardrobe, this does pose a minor issue – moisture in a confined space. This, coupled with the lack of light inside a wardrobe, means you have excess moisture clamouring for dry spots.
If neither of the above is causing dampness in your home, you should check all parts of your property that may affect your fitted wardrobes and furniture. This could include:
- Issues with the plumbing – if any pipework is loose or broken, water could be escaping from the gap and causing moisture build-up.
- Holes in the roofing – it’s always wise to ensure that a roof is completely watertight and solid, so rainwater runs off smoothly.
- Leaking gutters or downpipes – these can build up and leak if they’re not regularly cleaned or cleared out.
- Humid environments – a dehumidifier or air conditioning unit can help with making a home that’s prone to humidity and restricted ventilation feel more comfortable.
How to Prevent Damp or Mould in Fitted Wardrobes
While contemporary fitted wardrobes aren’t movable once fitted – unless some heavy renovation work is done – there are workarounds and steps you can take to ensure they’re not impacted by damp or mould.
Here is a loose step-by-step process for getting rid of damp in wardrobes:
- Once you’ve identified any mould, you can drill holes into the back of the wardrobe to allow for some air flow, allowing moisture to escape.
- If this persists, you may want to consider removing the wardrobe doors or leaving them open for extended periods to ensure the inside of the wardrobe is getting plenty of air.
- Making sure wardrobes are slightly heated is an excellent workaround to reduce the chances of damp forming, as long as there’s ventilation.
- Fit static air vents to the top and bottom of the wardrobe, ideally to units fitted against colder internal walls. This will create a balance of cold air and warm air within the unit, and the room it’s in.
- If the above doesn’t fix the issue, you may want to consider the placement of your wardrobes, which the professional team at Unflatpack can help you with.
Reducing the moisture in the air of your home will, subsequently, play a factor in your home’s damp or mould situation. In extreme cases, damp caused by plumbing will require external help from a professional, but otherwise, some good remedies for general mould prevention include:
- Drying clothes outside or in well-ventilated rooms.
- Closing bathroom doors after using them to prevent moisture from spreading across the home.
- Covering cooking pots to reduce steam emissions.
Hopefully, you won’t find yourself inundated with wardrobe damp problems, but if you are, Unflatpack are here to help.