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Preventing damp, mould and condensation

What we will do if you report damp or mould

If you report a damp, mould or condensation problem we will ask you to follow the advice in our leaflet keeping your home free from damp and mould (PDF, 1.98MB) for a period of four weeks. If after this time there is no improvement you need to contact us again.

We will have a discussion with you to ensure you have followed our steps to minimise damp and mould. After this we will  arrange for a property inspection to be carried out to investigate further, with the objective to resolve the issue. We will explain any repairs required. Please note however, if you have not followed our advice you could be liable for rechargable repairs on any work required.

What is mould?

The number one cause of damp and subsequent mould in homes in the UK today is a lack of ventilation and heating.

Mould grows and multiplies in moist areas, slowly at first then quicker and quicker. It is normal to have some mould growth in winter, but you need to stay on top of it to prevent it getting more serious. In most cases black mould is caused by condensation. See our steps to minimise damp and mould.

The chances of your home being affected by mould is reduced if you keep your home warm, well ventilated and minimise the amount of moisture that’s released into the air within your home.

If rising energy costs mean you are struggling to pay for heating, ask your energy supplier about ways to spread the cost.

What is condensation?

Condensation comes from the moisture in the air in your home from cooking, cleaning, bathing, even breathing turning into water. Condensation will form on the coldest surfaces in the room first, these cold areas are usually around windows, the corners of the room, and external walls. Condensation mainly occurs during cold weather, regardless of whether it is raining or dry.

Condensation is not necessarily a problem, as long as the surface has time to dry out every day. It is the residents' responsibility to control condensation in the home by heating, ventilation and dealing with mould if it forms. Tenants will be responsible for this unless it’s caused by another underlying cause - for example, leaking or blocked gutters.  

What is damp?

Damp occurs where moisture collects but does not have a chance to fully dry out. Damp is very common in the UK and is often caused by condensation. Damp usually builds up in areas where there is not much air movement. See our leaflet keeping your home free from damp and mould (PDF, 1.98MB).

Steps you can take

1. Minimise the amount of moisture in your home

  • Dry clothes outside, or in a room (preferably the bathroom) with a window open, or extractor fan running, and doors closed. Only use a tumble dryer if it is venting outside, or has a condenser
  • Never put wet clothes on a radiator - they fill the room with moisture in seconds
  • Keep lids on saucepans when cooking and ventilate the room
  • You are not allowed to use stand-alone paraffin or bottled gas heaters - as they are a safety risk and will also release large amounts of water vapour into your home
  • Always run the extractor fan or open a window when showering or cooking, and wipe away any excess water on floors, tiling and worktops
  • Trickle vents must remain open
  • Run cold water in the bath before adding hot

2. Improve air movement around areas prone to mould

  • Pull all furniture away from walls, including beds  
  • Leave a gap between the curtains and the wall during the day
  • Keep air bricks open and clear
  • Don't add a seal to kitchen and bathroom windows or to windows in rooms that are prone to damp
  • Don't over-fill cupboards and shelves
  • If possible, open windows to increase ventilation and air your home regularly
  • Do not overfill your rooms with possessions, furniture and belongings

3. Minimise the number of cold surfaces by heating your home to a reasonable level of warmth.

  • It’s recommended to keep living rooms heated to 21 degrees and keep bedrooms at 18 degrees. This temperature can be lower at night and when you're out

4. Wipe down small patches of mould with an anti-fungal spray purchased from a hardware store or supermarket) in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. This helps to limit any spread.

5. Wipe down condensation from windows and other areas each morning and open the window for a while.

6. Treat bad outbreaks of mould and redecorate using fungicidal paint.

For more detailed information on keeping your home free from damp and mould and reducing your energy bills, read our leaflet keeping your home free from damp and mould (PDF, 1.98MB).