Last updated: 3 October 2023
Next review: 3 October 2024
Damp and mould guidance for council tenants
Damp and mould are a top priority for the Council, and so is the health and safety of our residents. Damp and mould can be a health hazard - please see below details of how we plan to tackle the issue in our homes across the borough.
How to report damp and mould
Damp and mould are easier to tackle when they are caught early. For Council tenants, please report damp and mould by either:
What causes damp?
Damp is caused by water finding its way into a property. There are three different types of damp that affect homes. They are:
- Rising damp – when moisture is absorbed from the ground into the wall to the height of about one metre. This is the rarest form of damp.
- Penetrating damp – when water penetrates the fabric of a building from outside to inside, like a leak from a gutter.
- Condensation damp – when a property can't deal with normal levels of water vapour because of a lack of insulation, ventilation, or heating, or a combination of all these issues.
What causes mould?
Mould is a type of fungi. Moisture in the home often caused by damp, leaks or condensation that can cause mould to grow. Mould can grow quickly on damp surfaces. It can look like black stains, or specks of black, orange, green or brown.
What is condensation?
Condensation occurs when moist air meets a colder surface, like a wall or window. This then forms water droplets.
How will we help treat damp and mould?
Resolving damp and mould can be complex, and sometimes multiple fixes are needed. Generally, we wash and clean any affected surfaces with a fungicidal wash, but to solve the root of the problem further investigations may be required as there can be many possible causes of damp and mould. Each case will be different, so we will ensure what we do is individual to you and your home.
How to help prevent damp and mould in your home?
Damp and mould can be caused by lots of different things. Condensation damp is the most common type of damp. Unlike other types of damp that are the result of issues with the building itself, condensation damp is caused by day-to-day living. However, condensation is not the only cause of damp and mould as there can be other possible sources. Below are some practical steps you can take to help reduce condensation in your home.
- Close kitchen and bathroom doors when the rooms are in use. This will help prevent moisture from spreading to other parts of your home.
- Where possible dry clothes outside. Try and avoid putting clothes on radiators. Instead, dry clothes on a clothes horse in a well-ventilated room.
- If you use a tumble dryer, it should have a proper vent to the outside – otherwise it's just pumping damp air into your home.
- Wipe down surfaces affected by condensation regularly to prevent mould growth.
- Use your extractor fans when bathing or cooking, to help the moist air escape quicker you can also open a window.
- Air your home regularly by keeping a small window ajar wherever it’s safe to do so or put it on the window lock where possible
- Avoid pushing furniture right up against walls or overfilling wardrobes as this can cause damp and mould to grow. Allow air to circulate around your things.
- Keep air vents clear
Heat your home efficiently
- We understand you may be struggling with the rising energy costs but, if possible, do try to keep your home warm enough to reduce the risk of condensation.
- Use your thermostat to keep your heating at a steady temperature – between 18-21ºC for healthy adults when you are moving about.
Further support is available
- Struggling to heat your home? Visit our How to reduce your energy bills webpage. It provides contact details of local organisations that can support you.
- Cost-of-living support. We know that many residents are struggling to make ends meet, and that extra support is needed during this difficult time. Whatever your specific challenges or needs, we’re here to help. Visit our Cost-of-living support pages for advice and guidance.
- Learn how to make your home more energy efficient. Our Housing contractor, Morgan Sindall Property Service, holds monthly advice sessions on energy awareness and energy saving tips. Join a session today.