Private sector housing

Damp and mould

Damp and mould

Damp and mould is the most common complaint the council receives about housing conditions.  Condensation is often the cause of the damp and mould.

Condensation can cause dampness and mould growth in your home.  Condensation tarts as moisture in the air caused by cooking, washing, drying clothes on radiators and even breathing.  When this moisture hits a cool surface such as a window or wall it condenses and forms water droplets which creates the right environment for mould to grow.

How to reduce condensation in your home 

1. Control excess moisture 

  • Close kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent steam going into colder rooms. 
  • When cooking or washing, let the steam escape by opening a window or using an extractor fan if you have one fitted. Leave the window open or the extractor fan on for up to 20 minutes after you have finished cooking or washing. 
  • Open some windows in other rooms for a while each day and open any trickle vents in your window frames. This allows a change of air. 
  • Wipe down surfaces when moisture settles to prevent mould forming. 
  • Do not block air vents and allow air to circulate around furniture and cupboards. 
  • You must not use bottled gas or paraffin heaters – these produce a lot of moisture and they are also a health and safety risk. 
2. Produce less moisture 
  • Dry clothes outdoors whenever possible or use small ventilated rooms. 
  • Cover fish tanks and remember that house pets and plants produce moisture as well.
  • Cover pans when cooking. 
  • If you have a tumble drier or washing machine ensure that it is vented in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. 
3. Keep your home warm 
Insulation and draughtproofing will keep your home warmer and will also cut fuel bills. When the whole house is warmer condensation is less likely to form. 
  • Insulating your loft and walls will help. 
  • Maintain low background heat when the weather is cold or wet
  • Consider installing secondary double-glazing of windows to reduce heat loss and draughts. If you wish to do this you must make sure that there is some ventilation in the room. 
4. Some words of warning 
  • Do not block permanent ventilators. 
  • Do not completely block chimneys. Leave a hole about two bricks in size and fit a louvered grille over the opening. 
  • Do not draught proof rooms where there is condensation or mould growth. 
  • Do not draught proof a room where there is a gas cooker or a fuel-burning heater, for example a gas fire. 
  • Do not draught proof windows in the bathroom or kitchen. 
  • Do not put furniture against cold external walls.

If you would like to enquire about or report excessive damp or mould in your home, please use the online enquiry form.