DampWe can provide advice if you're having problems with damp in your home.
If you live in a rented property, we can arrange a visit to establish the cause of the dampness. We can also speak to your landlord on your behalf if necessary.
What is damp?Damp is usually caused by condensation, or excess moisture, in the air.
It often forms on north-facing walls, cold surfaces, near or on windows, in or behind cupboards or wardrobes and in areas or rooms with poor air circulation. It causes black mould with a speckled appearance.
Other causes of damp include:
- leaking pipes, wastes or overflows
- rain seeping in through the roof where a tile or slate is missing
- rain spilling from a blocked gutter or loose window frames
- water leaking through a cracked pipe
- rising damp due to a faulty damp course or because there is no damp course.
Removing damp can take weeks of heating and ventilation. Hiring a dehumidifier, a special machine which removes moisture from the air, can help.
How do I reduce condensation in my home?There are several ways you can cut down on condensation and reduce the chances of damp forming.
Reduce moistureDaily activities such as washing and cleaning produce lots of moisture in a short space of time.
You can reduce the amount of moisture you produce by:
- covering boiling pans
- not using paraffin and portable bottled gas heaters which do not have a flue
- drying your washing outdoors or in the bathroom with the door closed and the windows open
- venting tumble dryers to remove warm moist air.
Increase ventilationVentilation removes moisture from the air quickly and easily.
You can do this by:
- opening a small window or trickle ventilator in the room you are using
- opening windows in your kitchen and bathroom when you are cooking and washing
- using a humidistat (controlled electric fan) which works automatically with humid air
- closing your kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent moisture reaching other rooms
- cutting 'breather' holes in wardrobe and cupboard doors and backs
- leaving space between wardrobe backs and walls
- positioning wardrobes and furniture against internal walls
- making sure any new window frames are fitted with trickle ventilators.
Insulation and draught proofingInsulation and draught proofing your home will keep it warm, cut your fuel bills and reduce the chances of damp forming.
Some tips for insulation include:
- insulate your loft but don't block the opening under the eaves
- consider installing cavity wall insulation but remember to check if you need building regulation approval
- think about installing secondary and double glazing to reduce heat loss and draughts through windows
- keep low-background heating on all day, particularly during winter, even when you are not at home.
How do I remove mould caused by damp?There are some simple steps you can take to remove mould in your home and prevent it from recurring.
- wiping down walls and window frames with an anti-fungus wash which carries an approval number from the Health and Safety Executive
- dry cleaning mildewed clothes
- shampooing carpets
- using a good quality anti-fungus paint on walls and ceilings
- reducing the moisture in your home to prevent mould from returning.