How to combat condensation, damp and mould

This information explains how condensation forms and how you can keep it to a minimum. This will in turn reduce the risk of dampness and mould growth in your home.

What is condensation?

Condensation occurs when moist air hits a cold surface. This moist air condenses on cool surfaces such as walls, mirrors, tiles, windows and clothes. Look for it in corners, near windows, behind wardrobes, inside cupboards, on the ceiling or places where there is little movement of air. Condensation occurs mainly during winter months and does not leave a 'tide mark'.

Condensation causes damp which can then turn into mould.

What causes condensation?

  • Cooking without covering pots and pans and lack of ventilation
  • Bathing without ventilation
  • Drying clothes indoors without ventilation
  • Even people breathing causes condensation

Condensation usually occurs at night when temperatures drop.

What does condensation and mould look like?

Condensation can lead to mould growth on walls and ceilings and can also lead to damp patches. You will see condensation as water droplets on walls, window glass, around windows and in corners of rooms.

How to prevent condensation

As part of your tenancy it is your responsibility to prevent condensation in your home. These simple steps well help you.

Produce less moisture in your home:

  • Cover pots and pans when cooking
  • Don’t leave the kettle boiling
  • Dry washing outdoors if possible
  • If drying wet washing indoors put it in the bathroom with the door closed and windows left open
  • Do not dry wet clothes on the radiators
  • Vent tumble driers outside
  • Do not use bottled gas heaters in your home

Remove moisture from your home:

  • Keep trickle ventilators open when someone is in the room
  • Ventilate your kitchen and bathroom when in use by opening the windows
  • Close kitchen and bathroom doors when in use. This will help prevent moisture reaching other rooms, especially bedrooms which are often colder and more likely to get condensation
  • Avoid putting too many things in your cupboards and wardrobes as this stops air circulating
  • Use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom if you have them
  • Do not block off any air vents in your home
  • Wipe excess condensation off windows and surfaces with a towel each morning

Is it condensation?

Condensation isn't the only cause of damp. It can also come from:

  • Leaking pipes and waste overflows
  • Rain seeping through the roof where tiles or slates are missing
  • Overflow from blocked gutters penetrating around window frames or leaking through cracked pipes
  • Rising damp due to a defective damp-course or because there is no damp-course

These causes of damp often leave 'tide marks'.

If this does occur, contact repairs on freephone 0800 181744 or (020) 8825 5682.

How to remove mould

A build up of condensation in your home leads to damp which then turns into mould. To remove mould:

  • Wipe mould off immediately with water using a sponge or cloth
  • Do not use washing up liquid
  • Apply diluted bleach solution to the wall or use recommended products/mould removal available from DIY stores. (Read all instructions carefully before use and also wear rubber gloves)
  • Dry clean clothes and shampoo carpets affected by mould
  • DO NOT simply paint over mould. Properly clean/remove it first then use a special fungicidal paint to help prevent it recurring

The only lasting way of avoiding mould is to eliminate dampness!