Damp, mould and condensation

Child drawing on window condensation

Damp

Damp can cause mould on walls, furniture and clothing.

Damp can be caused by:

  • leaking or cracked pipes or overflows
  • no damp coursing in a house or faulty damp coursing
  • rain leaking through a roof, faulty window or door frames
  • overflowing water from a bath.

These causes of damp often leave a ‘tidemark’.

Report a repair   if you think you may have damp in your property due to one of the above, and we can visit you to check and help resolve the issue.

If you don’t think damp in your home is being caused by any of the above, it may be that any damp you are experiencing could be due to condensation.

Condensation

Condensation is caused by moisture in the air. There is always moisture in the air, even if you can’t see it.  When air gets colder it cannot hold a lot of moisture so droplets of water may appear near windows or doors, in the corner of rooms, behind cupboards or wardrobes, or on other cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air. It mainly occurs during cold weather.

There are a number of things you can do to prevent this including. Here are some tips:

1. Try to produce less moisture

Some ordinary daily activities produce a lot of moisture very quickly:

  • Dry-washing outdoors or in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan on
  • Vent any tumble dryer on the outside, unless it is the self-condensing type. You can get DIY kits cheaply for this
  • Do not leave kettles boiling and cover pans
  • Avoid using paraffin and portable, flueless bottled gas heaters as these put a lot of moisture into the air.

2. Ventilate to remove moisture

You can ventilate your home without making a draught:

  • If fans are installed, please ensure that you use them at all times
  • Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use by opening the windows wider
  • Keep a small window ajar or a trickle ventilator open when someone is in the room
  • Close the kitchen and bathroom doors when these rooms are in use – even if they have an extractor fan this will help prevent moisture reaching other rooms
  • Don't put too many things in cupboards and wardrobes as this stops air circulating
  • Cut 'breather' holes in doors and in the back of wardrobes and leave space between the back of the wardrobe and the wall
  • Position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls where possible.

3. Insulate, draught-proof and heat your home

Insulation and draught-proofing will help keep your home warm and will also cut fuel bills. When the whole home is warmer, condensation is less likely.

  • Ensure that you know how to operate your heating effectively and ask us if you are unsure
  • In very cold weather, keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home
  • In your loft, check that you have sufficient insulation. If you feel that the insulation is not sufficient then please report a repair   to arrange for an insulation survey
  • In the winter, at night, make sure you close your curtains to keep heat in.

How to keep your house warm and save money  

Mould

If you discover mould as a result of condensation in your home treat it as soon as you can. If you ventilate and insulate your home correctly mould shouldn’t appear.

If it does:

  • wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash which carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely
  • dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets - disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning can increase the risk of respiratory problems.

After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould recurring.

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