Help and advice Condensation, damp and mould

Living with damp and mould is unpleasant and bad for your health. It can often be avoided with some simple steps.

Condensation on a window

Some homes suffer from damp, which can lead to mould. Mould is usually found in places where there is poor air flow and cold spots.

There are lots of reasons why a home can be damp, but the most common cause is condensation.

Tackling condensation

What is condensation?

Condensation can be caused by:

  • too much moisture in the air, often created by steam from cooking and washing
  • not enough ventilation
  • extremes of temperature, for example, a kitchen being very warm and a bedroom very cold

This can cause black mould on walls and furniture and mildew on clothes, curtains and other fabrics. It can even damage plasterwork and rot wooden window frames.

What can I do to reduce condensation?

  • When showering, bathing or cooking, open a window or trickle vent for at least 20 mins after.
  • If you have extractor fans, use them – this is really important.
  • If you can, dry your clothes outside.
  • If you need to dry your clothes indoors, make sure you open a window when you’re at home.
  • If you use a tumble dryer, vent it to the outside.

Read our guide on dealing with condensation for more tips (PDF)

Tackling damp and mould

What causes damp and mould?

The most common cause of damp and mould is condensation and following the steps above can help to alleviate this.

Not all damp and mould is caused by condensation and sometimes the cause can be more serious, such as:

  • leaking or blocked gutters, down pipes and overflows
  • a leaking roof from missing tiles or slates
  • internal water leaks

If you are worried your damp and mould could be serious you should contact us as soon as you can.

How can I remove mould?

  • Dry your windows and window sills regularly.
  • Use a mould treatment to clean any mould affected areas, such as bleach or mould spray – don’t try to remove mould without using a treatment product, as it will spread.
  • After treatment, redecorate using high-quality mould-resistant paint to help prevent the mould returning.
  • Remove the cause of the damp. For example, if it has been due to a leak, dry out the affected area thoroughly.

Remember, if you think your damp and mould could be the result of a more serious problem, contact us as soon as you can.

For more detailed information about damp and mould, visit GOV.UK to read the government's guidance for tenants.