Rising Damp – Wheezing, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and a rash. If you have any of these signs or symptoms since moving into your house you might be sensitive to the mould and mildew that may be growing around you.  The Caribbean enjoys a warm, humid climate that, unfortunately, can accelerate the growth of mould and mildew.  There are certain woods, paints and fabrics that harbour spores that create moulds.  Bacteria can also be cultured under the right conditions here.

We need to look out for any type of strange, fussy multi-coloured growth on the walls, floors, and ceilings and inside drawers.  Even clothing hanging in the closets can be affected—let’s not forget those expensive leather shoes!

Mould and mildew will grow in damp locations inside and outside the home.  Areas high up in the hills see more growth than low-lying areas.  Other areas that are limited to the sun’s exposure will see more growth.

Keeping clothing in a closet with a good amount of airflow or even a utilizing a dehumidifier will help remedy this problem.  Limiting softwood in the home or even treating softwood with oil-based preservatives will inhibit growth.  You can purchase latex-based finishes with additives to reduce mould growth.  Chemical cleaners, especially with bleach, will kill mould growth and slow down its reoccurrence.

In summary, reducing the amount of moisture lingering around is key, and maximizing airflow throughout rooms will also help.  It is natural that you will see mould and mildew living in a tropical climate with damp weather conditions, and taking the time to clean and dry surfaces should be part of daily living here in the lower latitudes.