Damp and mould

Contents woman washing a window

When water condenses on surfaces in your home, it can lead to damp spots and mould there and make your home an unhealthy place to live. Follow the advice and tips below to keep your home a nice and safe place to live.

Condensation between windows (Double Glazed Units) 

If you are a council tenant and condensation has formed in the space between your windows panes, report it to Mears via the repairs line: 0800 085 1313.

Mears can then plan a visit with you to inspect the unit, measure it up and organise a replacement.

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Preventing condensation

There is always some moisture in the air, even if you cannot see it. 

When moist air hits a cold surface, it cannot hold it and tiny droplets of water will form on that surface (you can see this when the mirror mists up after a bath). This is condensation, which:

  • occurs mainly during cold weather.
  • appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement and circulation of air.

Condensation is common in a few specific areas in a home. Look out for condensation and mould:

  • in room corners
  • on or near windows
  • in or behind wardrobes and cupboards
  • in rarely used rooms

Condensation can lead to mould, which can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma and worsen existing respiratory problems.

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Reducing condensation in your home woman doing laundry

Produce less moisture 

More moisture in the air makes it easier for it to escape by forming condensation. Keep moisture low and: 

  • cover pans when cooking to prevent steam from escaping
  • dry washing outdoors whenever possible, or over the bath with the door closed and the window open
  • vent any tumble dryers outside, or consider buying a self-condensing type
  • Keep doors closed when having a bath or shower to prevent moisture reaching other rooms.

Did you know? Drying clothes in an un-vented tumble dryer produces a massive 10 pints of moisture and a bath can create 2 pints of moisture!

Ventilate your home

Ventilation improves the movement of air and circulation in your home, making it more difficult for condensation to form. Improve your homes ventilation by:

  • keeping a small window ajar or a trickle ventilator open
  • ventilating your kitchen and bathroom when in use by opening windows or using a humidistat-controlled electric fan (These automatically start when the air becomes moist, and are cheap to run)
  • ventilating cupboards and wardrobes, and positioning them (and other furniture) against internal walls where able.

Insulate and draught proofing

Condensation forms in cold spots. Insulating your loft, draught proofing windows and doors, and installing cavity wall insulation will help to eliminate cold spots in your home (as well as making it cheaper to keep your home warm).

Heating more efficiently thermostat

Try to keep rooms in your home heated equally - it is better to heat your whole home to a lower temperature rather than heat one room to a high temperature. 

A difference in temperature in your home can cause condensation to form in the colder rooms (such as a spare bedroom that isn't being heated because no one is using it. Condensation will be more likely to form in the spare bedroom because of this).

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Treating Mould

If you take care to prevent condensation forming in your home, mould should not appear. But in the case that it does, the mould can be killed and removed by wiping down the walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash.

When using a fungicidal wash, take care to follow its instructions precisely. Avoid disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning as this can increase the risk of respiratory problems.

After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint. This will help prevent mould occurring there in the future. This paint will not be effective if it is not overlaid with wallpaper.

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Top Tips

  • You can stop condensation forming on mirrors or windows by rubbing a small spot of washing up liquid over the surface with a cloth. Try this at home or in the car - taxi drivers have been doing this for years!
  • You can also prevent condensation forming on windows by cutting a potato in half and rubbing it across the window, buffing with a cloth afterwards.

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Still having issues?

If you are a council tenant and have followed all of the above steps but are still having issues with damp or mould, get in touch and call the free phone repairs hotline on 0800 085 1313.

You can also send photos of the affected area to Operations@scambs.gov.uk. These can then be assessed to determine whether a surveyor needs to come out to inspect the problem.

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