Don't wait until winter before tackling damp, mould and condensation in your home
We take the issue of damp and mould extremely seriously, and investigate every report thoroughly. We don't blame customers for damp and mould appearing. Our focus is on working with you to resolve the issues. Making sure your home is safe and comfortable is our highest priority.
How we treat damp, mould and condensation
Please let us know about the damp and mould issue in your home as soon as it happens, by reporting a repair.
- If we can identify the cause (if there’s a leak, for example) over the phone or from the information you give us on the online form, we’ll arrange a repair
- If we need to investigate further, a surveyor will visit your home to assess the extent of the issue, identify what remedial works are needed, take photographs and carry out immediate treatment
- They’ll also give you some advice for dealing with the damp and mould, while we carry out remedial works
- The surveyor will also ask you about any other problems in your home and if you need any additional support, so we can come up with an approach that fixes the damp and mould problem and prevents it coming back
- We’ll visit your home six months after the remedial work is carried out, to make sure the damp and mould problem has been fixed once and for all.
Supporting you during the cost-of-living crisis
We’re aware the cost-of-living crisis is likely to make problems with damp and mould worse, as people struggle to adequately heat their homes.
Please contact us if you’re struggling financially. Our Early Intervention team can work with you to help with financial worries at the earliest opportunity.
What is condensation?
Condensation comes from the moisture in the air in your home, it’s increased when cooking, cleaning, bathing, and even breathing. Condensation will form on the coldest surfaces in your home, 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's raining or dry. It isn't necessarily a problem, as long as the surface has time to dry out every day. The warmer the air temperature is in your home, the more moisture it can hold.
What is mould?
The number one cause of mould in homes in the UK is a lack of ventilation and heating.
Mould grows and multiplies in moist areas, slowly at first, then quicker. It’s normal to have some mould growth in winter, but it’s important that you stay on top of it to prevent it getting worse. In most cases black mould is caused by condensation.
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.
What is damp?
There are many forms of damp.
Rising damp is when moisture is able to travel through the dampproof course of your home (just above ground level) and may result in damp up to 1m high above the ground floor.
Penetrating damp is caused when water soaks a wall and travels through into your home. This may be caused by leaks, flooding or defective guttering and seals around your bath, shower, basin and sink.
The most common form of damp is from condensation and, from time to time, particularly in colder months, affects most homes in the UK. Damp occurs in moist places that may never fully dry out, usually where there is little air movement. Normally, this may be easily controlled by keeping surfaces dry.
Should black mould appear, however, and you can’t remove it with a mild bleach, or you notice any of the other forms of damp described, please report this as a repair.
Help and advice
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the chances of damp and mould appearing:
- Minimise the amount of moisture in your home
- Dry clothes outside where possible, 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 and keep your extractor fan on
- You aren't allowed to use stand-alone paraffin or bottled gas heaters - as they’re 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.
- 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 and vents 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
- Don't overfill your rooms with possessions, furniture and belongings.
- Minimise the number of cold surfaces by heating your home to a reasonable level of warmth
- It’s recommended to keep your home heated between 16°C and 21°C. This temperature can be lower at night and when you're out.
- Wipe down small patches of mould
- Use an anti-fungal spray purchased from a hardware store (or supermarket) in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. This helps to limit any spread.
- Wipe down condensation from windows and other areas each morning and open windows for a while
- Use a cloth, squeegee or window vacuum cleaner to remove moisture that's formed overnight.
Our dedicated damp mould and condensation (DMC) leaflet (PDF, 10MB) provides helpful advice and tips on how to prevent DMC from appearing and spreading.
If you’re experiencing a damp and mould issue in your home, please report it.