Managing damp and mould
If you notice damp or mould in your home, please report this to us so we can do an inspection to confirm the cause. We can then work with you to resolve the problem. For example, there might be a leak in the roof or a damaged water pipe that is concealed. The goal is to identify and eliminate the source of moisture.
The issues you are experiencing might be condensation. Trapped moist air can cause condensation, which can make your home damp, and increase the risk of mould. Mould spores can be harmful in high concentrations or over long periods of time – wherever you see it, wipe it away. Heating and ventilation are key, so the air is too dry for mould to grow. Remember the moist air is created inside your home and does not come in from outside.
If you have trickle vents on your windows, these need to be opened all the time. Open windows, even just a crack, if you are using a room that is vulnerable to condensation. After bathing, cooking or sleeping, open a window to air the room and keep it dry. If your kitchen or bathroom has an extractor fan, please use it, and make sure it is unblocked and dust-free. If you don’t have a fan, we can arrange a survey to install one.
After our initial damp-and-mould inspection, we follow up to make sure that any work we have done in your home, or advice we have given has made a difference.
Your household might also meet the criteria for a referral from our Tenancy Intervention and Enforcement team. If you do, the team may be able to apply for funding grants to help you – for example, in the Buckinghamshire area, there is a new fund that can support households with additional costs for heating and utilities.
If you are experiencing issues with condensation the hints and tips below may help to keep your home warm and well ventilated. Please click on the boxes below to get some useful information.
Reduce the risk of condensation overnight with thick curtains and a carpet with underlay, but make sure rooms are adequately aired in the morning. If the furniture is against a cold external wall, make sure air can circulate to keep the wall and furniture dry.
Heating is vital to combat damp. Use your heating programmer to ‘time’ your heating, instead of ‘on demand’ with the thermostat. Set the heating to come on first thing in the morning and then again in the evening when cooking or bathing. During cold months, your home only needs to be slightly warmer than outside for the damp air to be driven out. Make sure that radiators are left uncluttered so the heat can escape. Lower temperatures for a longer duration are more effective than a high temperature for a short time. Your home does not need to be excessively warm or expensive to heat.
Where you can, try to dry clothes outside. Vented tumble dryers are excellent, make sure they are vented outside. Condensing tumble-dryers are effective, but some need to be in a ventilated room – use the windows.
Try to avoid drying clothes on a radiator, but if you do, keep the room ventilated.
The alternative is to dry clothes in a bathroom or kitchen where you have an extract fan. Make sure the fan operates and is clean and free of dust. Keep that room heated, ventilated and the door closed.
Ventilation is one of the most important factors to reduce damp.
Cold air from outside is dryer than warm air inside and acts like a sponge when it is warmed up. The warm air inside is laden with moisture, you need to get it out.
Where windows have trickle vents fitted, keep them open all the time, especially at night.
Keep windows open, even slightly, in rooms that you are using where there are signs of condensation.
After sleeping, bathing or cooking, use windows to air those rooms thoroughly.
Use the doors in your home to stop moisture moving around, moisture from warm bathrooms or kitchens can sometimes cause problems in cooler rooms like bedrooms.
Kitchens are a major source of moisture.
When you are cooking, open a window or use your extract fan or preferably both.
Keep the kitchen door closed so steam doesn’t escape into the rest of your home.
Using saucepan lids, will save energy and reduce condensation.
Air your kitchen once you have finished cooking.
This is one of the most vulnerable rooms in your home.
Close the door while you’re in the bath or shower so the steam doesn’t get into other, colder rooms.
Keep the bathroom warm so moisture will stay airborne and be carried away.
When you are using the bathroom, open a window or use your extract fan or preferably both.
Make sure you keep the heater or radiator uncovered so heat can escape into the room.
Air your bathroom once you have finished.
Wipe away the damp
If you see condensation on any surfaces or windows, wipe it away and consider if the heating or ventilation could be adjusted to reduce it.
Steps against mould
Wipe away any spots of mould immediately with a mould-spray or wash. Do not let it accumulate.
Mould is an indicator of damp, so think what could be done to reduce that damp, perhaps changing how the room is heated or ventilated or both.
Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets if required.