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Damp, Mould and Condensation

Lots of homes in the UK suffer from condensation, damp and mould, especially in the winter. Daily tasks such as cooking, showering and drying clothes result in moisture being released into the air, which can lead to condensation and black mould growth.

What is condensation?

Condensation is caused by moist air coming into contact with cold surfaces such as walls, windows and mirrors. It can also build up in places where there is little air movement, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards. Condensation can cause dampness and mould within your home which can create a distinctive musty smell.

What is damp?

There are two types of damp that can lead to the growth of mould within a home. Rising damp is caused by ground water moving up through the wall or floor. Penetrating damp is caused by leaking water. This is usually caused by a structural problem in the building such as faulty guttering, or it can be caused by internal leaks, like pipes under the sink. This type of damp may expand across walls or a ceiling horizontally.

What is black mould?

Black mould is caused by a build-up of damp or condensation. Left untreated this can spread from walls on to furniture, curtains, and clothing. Black mould produces allergens, irritants, and sometimes toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, and a skin rash.

Mould toxicity can lead to physical health impacts such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Weak immune systems
  • Loss of cognitive function and headaches
  • Upper respiratory tract infections

Or mental health impacts such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

How to reduce condensation and prevent black mould growth in your home

Maintain proper ventilation

  • Use extractor fans and trickle vents in your windows. These don't lose much heat so keep them uncovered
  • Open windows for short periods in the morning to release moisture from your home
  • Allow soft furnishings, such as sofas, room to breathe by pulling them away from the wall and not overfilling your wardrobe
  • If you're drying clothes indoors, make sure there are open windows to allow moisture to escape

Heat your home

  • Condensation is less likely to form if the temperature of your home is above 15oC
  • However, it's recommended that rooms are kept at between 18-21oC to keep you warm and healthy
  • Don't turn thermostatic radiator valves off, always keep them on a minimum frost setting.
  • If you're struggling to afford your heating, help is available. Visit our website  

Keep moisture level down

Most daily tasks will release moisture into the air


Litres of water vapour

Breathing - active adult

0.85 litres per day per person

Breathing - sleeping adult

0.3 litres per day per person


up to 3 litres per day

Washing clothes

0.5 litres per load

Drying clothes

5 litres per load

Washing dishes

up to 1 litre per day

Showers and baths

1.5 litres per person


Try the below tips to reduce moisture levels in your home to prevent condensation:

  • Dry clothes outside or in a vented tumble dryer where possible
  • Take shorter showers
  • Add cold water first when running a bath - this reduces steam by up to 90%
  • Keep a lid on pots and pans when cooking
  • Wipe windows daily with a squeegee

Kitchens and bathrooms are prime locations for condensation and therefore, mould as well. Keep on top of your cleaning routine to prevent the build-up of black mould from regular moisture in these rooms.

If you see damp and mould in your home

Reporting damp and mould to the council is the right thing to do, and the earliest this is done, the easier it will be to resolve. Any signs of damp should be reported to the Property Services Team as soon as possible as this will need to be cleaned off and treated with fungicidal treatment. Do not try to remove with a brush or hoover as this can lead to mould spores spreading further round your home.

Reporting damp and mould in your home:

Contact the Property Services Team during office hours 9:00am to 17:00pm Monday to Friday using the contact information below.


Phone: 023 9254 5289

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