Damp, mould and condensation

Managing damp, mould and condensation in your home. 

If you are struggling with damp, mould or condensation in your home, please contact us as soon as possible - we are here to help.

Minimise the risk

Some homes suffer from damp, often as a result of problems such as a leaking roof or pipe, a broken gutter or damp rising in the floor or coming through the walls. If your house is damp and you think it’s for one of these reasons, or something similar, please report it to us so that we can investigate the issue.

Another common issue in the home is condensation – this is the build up of humidity in a room that becomes water droplets on colder surfaces, like windows and external walls. Like damp, condensation can happen for a number of reasons, including damp, lack of ventilation, the build up of steam from washing, cooking and drying clothes and other everyday activities in the home.

Both damp and condensation can also lead to mould. Mould is usually found in places where there is poor air flow and cold spots, such as in the corners of rooms next to the roof and behind furniture that is against a wall (which blocks any airflow).

There are things that you can do to help reduce condensation and mould in your home. The advice below may help you identify and treat these issues.

But if you believe that your home is damp, please give us a call and we will work with you to address it.


Condensation occurs when the air, and/or surfaces, are cold, and when the moisture content of the air is high. Lack of air movement tends to be in corners, on or near windows, in or behind cupboards or wardrobes.

There is always some moisture in the air, even if you cannot see it. If the air gets colder, it cannot hold all the moisture and tiny drops of water appear on cold surfaces, typically windows, which can lead to black-spotted mould growth.  It often forms on north-facing walls.

If you are having issues with dampness and condensation in your home, a dehumidifier can make a big difference. Dehumidifiers are not expensive to run, and running them all day will still only add a few pence to your energy bills.​

As a tenant, there are easy ways to manage the amount of condensation produced in your home.

window condensation

What causes condensation?

  • Too much moisture in the air, often created by steam from cooking, showering and washing.
  • Using portable paraffin and bottled-gas heaters. (Each litre of paraffin burned releases one litre – three pints – of water vapour into the atmosphere.)
  • Not enough ventilation and airflow.
  • Extremes of temperature (for example, a kitchen being very warm and a bedroom very cold).
  • Drying clothes inside the home, especially over radiators.
  • Moisture produced by everyday activities.

What condensation can do to your home

Condensation can cause mould to form on walls, furniture and soft furnishings (for example, curtains and sofas). It can even damage plasterwork and rot wooden window frames.

Damp conditions can also increase the number of house mites.

If anyone in your home has a breathing condition such as asthma or bronchitis, it is important that condensation is controlled because mould and house mites may make these conditions worse.

The moisture being produced in your home

Our everyday activities add extra moisture to air inside our homes. Even breathing adds some moisture (remember when you breathe on cold windows and mirrors it mists them up).

One sleeping person adds half a pint of water to the air overnight, and at twice that rate when active during the day.

To give you some idea of how much moisture could be produced in a day, here are a few examples.

  • Two people active for one day = 3 pints
  • Cooking and boiling a kettle = 6 pints
  • Having a bath or shower = 2 pints
  • Washing clothes = 1 pint
  • Drying clothes = 9 pints
  • Using paraffin or bottled-gas heater = 3 pints
  • Total amount of moisture produced in your home in one day = 24 pints

How to help reduce condensation...

Graphic showing:
- always cook with the lids on pans
- avoid drying clothes directly on radiators
- leave small windows open for 30 minutes a day
- close doors when using your kitchen to keep in moisture
- dry your windows every morning
- keep a small gap between furtinure and walls

Mould is a natural organic compound that develops in damp atmospheres. It is often a consequence of water penetration and/or condensation in homes that are not adequately heated and/or ventilated. Mould will only grow on damp surfaces, and in most cases, this is a direct result of condensation.

If you have damp and mould in your home, you are more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system.

Mould growth can produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants and, sometimes, toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash and can also cause asthma attacks.​

As a tenant, there are easy ways to manage mould in your home in the first instance.


Damp can cause mould on walls, windows, and furniture. Damp and cold homes encourage the growth of mould and result in mites (which feed on mould) and can increase the risk of respiratory illness. It can be caused by:

  • Condensation created by high levels of moisture in the air.
  • Leaking pipes, wastes, or overflows.
  • Rain seeping through the roof where a tile or slate is missing.
  • Blocked guttering, cracked or loose rainwater pipes.
  • Rising damp due to a defective damp course, which will create a yellow tide mark on internal walls.

You can help manage condensation levels, but contact us if Damp is from another source.

image of damp
Steps to avoid excessive mould

First, treat the mould already in your home. If you deal with the basic problem, mould should not reappear. If you have mould growth, it should be removed as soon as you see it.

Wipe down walls and window frames with soap and water or a fungicidal wash and dry the area thoroughly. Do not brush or use a vacuum as this can disturb the mould spores.

Dry-clean mildewed clothes, and shampoo carpets. Disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning can increase the risk of respiratory problems.

After treatment redecorate, using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould. Note that this paint is not effective if overlaid with ordinary paints or wallpaper. When wallpapering, use a paste containing a fungicide to prevent further mould growth.

The only lasting way of avoiding severe mould is to eliminate dampness.

cleaning mould
How you can minimise the risk
  • Cover pans when cooking, keeping the kitchen door shut and leaving the windows open and/or extractor fan on.​
  • Dry clothes outdoors or dry clothes in the bathroom, with the door shut, the heating on and the window open and/or extractor fan on.
  • Open the bathroom window and/or keep the extractor fan on when taking a shower or bath. Keep the bathroom door shut when taking a shower or bath.
  • Open the kitchen window and shut the kitchen door when cooking.
  • Do not leave condensation or any water which has accumulated on windows, window sills, walls or surfaces. Wipe the moisture off immediately.
  • Keep trickle vents in windows open. They are designed to ventilate your home without causing draughts.
  • Do not over-ventilate your accommodation by leaving the windows open, as your walls will lose all the heat stored in them. Open the windows for a short period at a time so that any moisture can escape then close them.
  • Dry air is more easily and effectively heated than damp air. You will need more energy to heat damp rooms than if the damp air has been allowed to escape before heating the room.
  • If using a tumble dryer, it must be vented properly to the outside air.
  • If possible, keep a low background heat on all day, even in the bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air, so if your house is heated adequately, you are less likely to have condensation dampness. It will cost more initially to warm the walls, but when the walls are dry your heating bills will reduce.
  • Do not overfill your cupboards and wardrobes. Keep your furniture away from the walls so that air can circulate. It is better to place furniture against internal walls than external walls which may be colder.
  • Do not block up external vents in any room where there is a gas cooker or fuel burning fire.​
  • Do not over-crowd your home. The more people and pets living in your home, the more moisture will be produced, which needs to be removed.
  • Do not turn off any extractor fans in the bathroom or kitchen. Extractor fans are cheap to run, use less energy than a standard light bulb and can remove moist air quickly.
Insulation, draughtproofing & heating

Insulation in the loft and cavity wall will help keep your home warm and reduce your fuel bills as well.  If you feel your loft or cavity wall is not insulated sufficiently - please contact us.

In cold weather, the best way to keep rooms warm enough to avoid condensation is to keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home.

If you have central heating, set it to provide background warmth to all rooms including unused rooms. If fitted, use thermostatically controlled radiator valves (TRVs). The thermostats will help control heating and costs. If your radiators do not have TRVs - please contact us.

If you need help with your utility bills, please contact our Money Advice Team or by calling 01386 420800.

installing insulation

Rooftop has the responsibility to...

Insulate homes in accordance with Decent Homes Standard to help reduce the likelihood of condensation occurring.

Provide appropriate response times to repairing defects within the home which may contribute to damp, condensation, and mould, these include, but are not exclusive to, heating repairs, repairs to leaks and damage to roofs.

Maintain homes to avoid penetrating and rising damp and for undertaking remedial works if these do occur.

Help customers understand how to minimise condensation in the home.

black mould

Insulation and draughtproofing

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installing insulation


In cold weather, the best way to keep rooms warm enough to avoid condensation is to keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home.
If you have central heating, set it to provide background warmth to all rooms including unused rooms. If fitted, use thermostatically controlled radiator valves (TRVs). The thermostats will help control heating and costs. If your radiators do not have TRVs - please contact us.

If you need help with your utility bills, please contact our Money Advice Team or by calling 01386 420800.

What Rooftop means to me

"Staying at Rooftop whilst working long hours in the health service gives me great peace of mind. The team is fantastic and always ensures that my stay is comfortable. Ultimately, Rooftop helps me provide better care for my patients. "

Dr Anonymous

Keyworker Customer

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