Condensation, damp and mould in your home

If you have problems with moisture in your home, it could be caused by condensation.

About damp 

Dampness in a building is generally caused by either:

  • rainwater soaking into the walls or roof leaks
  • leaking pipes or leaking washing machines or dishwashers
  • condensation

Dampness from rainwater getting in or leaking pipes usually leaves a tidemark on the surface of the wall or ceiling. Dampness from condensation usually develops into mould growth.

Contact our council housing repairs helpdesk if you think you have damp in your home.

The causes of condensation

Basic household chores such as cooking, showering and drying clothes indoors can produce up to 20 pints of water vapour each day in your home. It is important to ventilate your home to remove this water vapour before it forms condensation.

Condensation forms on the cooler surfaces, such as windows, mirrors and external walls. Poor ventilation and inadequate heating can increase the amount of condensation.

Continual condensation can lead to mould growth, which could make respiratory problems worse, such as asthma, coughing and sneezing.

Treating mould

To kill and remove mould:

  • wipe down walls and window frames with a weak household bleach solution
  • wash mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets; avoid disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning as it can release the spores into the air

After removing the mould, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint. This helps prevent mould reoccurring.

If you think you may have condensation, consider buying a moisture absorber from a DIY shop. They are under £10 and can help.

Reducing condensation

Where possible, dry your clothes outside on a line or in a well-ventilated room with an open window or an extractor fan turned on.

Try to avoid:

  • drying clothes on your radiators if you can as this puts large amounts of moisture into the air
  • blocking airbricks or vents in the wall, or to redundant fireplaces, which are there to increase ventilation
  • positioning furniture against colder external walls if possible

How to keep your home well-ventilated

You may not need to fully open your windows to ventilate your home. Some windows can be locked, slightly open, to allow ventilation. Some windows also have trickle vents which can be opened to provide ventilation.

Dry, cool air is cheaper to heat than warm moist air. In cold weather, keep your heating on lower and for longer than short high bursts. This is a more efficient way of heating your home and can reduce condensation build up.

If you’re generating a lot of moisture through cooking, ironing or showering, keep your room ventilated and close doors where possible to stop moisture traveling around the property.

Cover pans when cooking or simmering. Do not leave kettles boiling, this will also use less energy and cut your bills.

Where fitted, use an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom.

Tumble dryers should be vented to the outside. Self-condensing tumble dryers do not need venting, but do create some moisture. Ventilate the room where self-condensing tumble dryers are being used.

Regularly wipe down surfaces where moisture settles.

If you follow these tips, but find that condensation, dampness and mould growth is still a problem, contact our council housing repairs helpdesk.