Fitted bedroom wardrobes are often a magnet for damp and mould because they can cut off the circulation of air behind them. For other areas in the home, such as windows and walls, mould can be scrubbed off easily with a combination of bleach and water. However, this becomes more tricky when it is behind a wardrobe, particularly fitted units, as gaining access to the affected area and bleach can damage wood easily. This article looks at some of the causes of damp and the steps you can take to prevent it.
Causes of Damp in Wardrobes
When you spot damp behind a wardrobe, there are usually one or two causes for it. These must be tackled first before anything else and – in most cases – dealing with these issues solves the problem.
Damp and mould is usually caused by an excess of moisture building up in a particular area. When fitted wardrobes are built against exterior walls, the area behind them is cut off from the rest of the room so it doesn’t receive the heat and air circulation that it once had. This trapped space can also become humid if it is still heated slightly, which creates a prime location for mould to grow. Free-standing wardrobes can also have this problem, but moving them away from the wall is a quick and easy fix.
Hanging ‘nearly dry’ clothes up in your wardrobe is a surprisingly common cause for damp. They may seem dry enough to finish off the wardrobe, but what this does is introduce extra moisture into that small space. Once introduced, it will do what moisture does and spread out searching for dry spaces. This coupled with the darkness of the wardrobe create the perfect breeding ground for mould to grow.
Other Causes of Damp
If neither of these is the cause for the damp then you should check other parts of the property which may be affecting the bedroom unit. We suggest checking the following for signs of a leak which may be causing the damp:
- Leaking gutters
- Holes in the roofing
- High humidity in the home
How to Prevent Mould in Wardrobes
Once you have removed any mould that had already built up, you can start taking measures to prevent it from returning. This is more difficult with fitted bedroom units and wardrobes as you cannot simply move them away from the wall to provide some circulation. However, all hope is not lost, as there are still steps you can take.
Drilling holes into the back of the wardrobe can provide some much-needed ventilation, which can allow any excess moisture to escape. Also, making sure the wardrobes are heated (even if it is just a constant low heat) will reduce the chances of damp forming.
If the problem persists after taking these measures then you should consider the placement of the wardrobe itself. Completely replacing the wardrobe and carpet is not an expense any of us want to pay for, but thankfully there are other things that can be done to avoid this. Removing the unit doors and opting for an open style storage theme can help to ventilate the space and won’t cost you a penny. However, there are some circumstances where the damp is too extensive to save the fitted wardrobe. In these cases, a free-standing wardrobe or open shelving might be a better option.
How Can You Reduce Moisture In The Air?
As damp and mould are produced by an excess of moisture in the home it can be worthwhile to take actions to reduce it. Covering pots when cooking is one thing you can do to reduce the steam released into your home. Additionally, ensure you are drying clothes outside or in a separate, well-ventilated room so that the water that evaporates off them while drying can escape. Finally, closing bathroom doors before you use the shower and keeping them closed for an hour after can also help to stop excess moisture spreading around your home.
All of the measures mentioned above will reduce the water in the air of your home which will, in turn, reduce the chances of damp and mould building up. In extreme cases, damp will be an internal issue like a leaking pipe somewhere. In these situations, external assistance such as a plumber will likely be required, but this is rare.
Has damp damaged your wardrobe or unit doors? If so, once you’ve taken some of the advice above you should consider replacing them to give your home a fresh look. Check out our extensive range of bedroom doors and get in touch with us today for some expert advice.