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If your home is affected by damp and mould, we need to find out why. The causes can be a range of things, including condensation and wider damp issues. This page covers tips for tackling it yourself and what to do if it becomes a real problem. If you report damp and mould to us, we might ask you for some photos or arrange for someone to survey your home – this is to help us diagnose what’s causing it. We’ll then work with you on the best way of addressing the issue.
What is damp, mould and condensation?
When warm wet air hits something colder, water droplets – or condensation – can appear. You may see this on your walls, windows and doors after a hot shower, or after cooking on the hob. Even breathing causes condensation – it’s why a car window steams up. It’s hard to stop condensation completely, but some small steps can help you manage the moisture in the air in your home to prevent it becoming more troublesome damp and mould growth.
Damp looks like a wet patch on a wall or ceiling. It appears when condensation is left for a long time and the moisture never gets the chance to dry out. Damp is common in places with condensation and a low air flow, such as bathrooms where the windows are closed and/or the extractor fan isn’t switched on. It can also be caused by blocked gutters and broken rooftiles or pipes. Over time, damp can cause structural problems to your home if it’s not addressed.
There are two types of damp – rising damp and penetrating damp.
Penetrating damp, which appears as a patch in one area, can be the result of condensation, a water leak or broken services.
Rising damp, a much less common issue, can be diagnosed by a tidemark as high as one metre.
A type of fungus, mould often shows up as little black dots. Mould can grow in places you cannot see, such as behind wallpaper and under carpets. It thrives in moist, damp places with poor lighting and poor ventilation, and is commonly found near the sealant of window frames and around kitchen and bathroom tiles. Mould needs to be regularly cleaned and ventilated to prevent it from becoming a health risk. It is most likely to form during the winter but do so at any time.
Preventing Damp, Mould and Condensation
Steamy windows and wet window ledges are among the signs that tell us the air in our home has too much moisture. Here are some steps that you can follow that can help dry out your home.
Open a window at both ends of your home to allow fresh air to flow through. Good ventilation’s key to keeping condensation at bay.
Help the flow of air by removing clutter and not overfilling your cupboards and wardrobes.
Close doors and cover pots and pans when cooking to stop the steam escaping. Where possible open a window or switch your extractor fan on. Close doors when bathing or showering to contain the steam. Open a window or use your extractor fan to let/get the steam out. An even slightly open window allows damp air out and fresh air in.
Wipe condensation from your windows, sills and walls with a dry cloth to prevent water drops becoming damp or mould.
If possible, keep the temperature in your home between 18 – 21 degrees. A sudden change in temperature can cause condensation to form. If you are not heating a particular room, keep its door open so warm air can circulate from elsewhere. We know heating your home is more expensive than it’s ever been, and therefore not always an option. For tips on how to save energy in your home, plus details of energy-related grants and benefits, check out our cost of living help.
Leave a gap between your furniture and external walls.
Drain your sink and bath as soon as you’re finished using the water.
Where possible, hang your washing outside. If you have to dry things inside, it’s best to place them in a closed room with an open window or extractor fan. Never place wet items on a warm radiator.
Damp in our homes is sometimes caused by condensation. This can happen as a result of normal everyday activities, like cooking and bathing, and is more likely in colder weather. In most cases we’re able to fix the issue by ventilating and heating the affected area.
We’re here to help you if you find penetrating or rising damp in your home.
If the issue’s urgent please report the problem to us by phoning 0800 131 3348.
If it’s more convenient, you can report less urgent cases by completing this form.
If you apply an anti-fungal spray it’s often really easy to wipe away a patch of mould. It’s best to use a paper towel to do this as you’ll want to throw the dirty tissue away. Once you’ve cleaned the mould help the patch dry out by opening a window or heating the room. You’ll almost certainly be able to find a mould treatment spray in your local shop or supermarket.
If mould returns after it’s been treated, or if an area’s heavily affected, please report this to us as soon as possible by phoning 0800 131 3348 or by completing this form.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help fix any issues with damp and mould in your home.
If the issue’s urgent please report the problem to us by phoning 0800 131 3348
If it’s more convenient, you can report less urgent cases by completing this form
When we receive your report our Customer Service team will contact you to agree a time with you to visit your home. This visit will enable us to carry out an in-depth inspection of your home’s structure, ventilation and heating.
If we find your home needs a repair, this will be arranged. We may also carry out a deep clean if we feel it would be beneficial. We will keep you informed throughout this process and monitor any repair to your home.
Please be aware that we may need to visit you more than once to get to the root of the problem. It isn’t always easy to work out what’s causing damp and mould before we tailor a solution for your home.
If necessary, our surveyor will bring in a specialist building consultant to help us fix the problem. Sometimes damp needs to be treated regularly for the problem to be removed completely. In such cases your local housing team will provide you with further support and guidance.