Damp and mould

Problems with damp and mould

The damp maybe being caused by condensation. Air always has moisture in it. Condensation is caused by the water in warm air collecting as droplets on colder surfaces, much like when you get a cold drink can from the fridge. In your home this water is allowed to soak into surfaces, mould can grow.

What you can do

  • Remove any mould, as soon as you see it:
  • clean the area with soapy water or a fungicidal wash (follow any instructions carefully)
  • don’t brush or vacuum the area as it can disturb mould spores
  • dry the area thoroughly
  • paint the area with a fungicidal paint, don’t use ordinary paint or wallpaper

Reduce moisture

You can remove moisture by wiping any damp or wet windows, sills, walls and surfaces with a paper towel and throwing it away.


  • close the kitchen door
  • open a window or put the extractor fan on
  • cover pans with lids
  • don’t leave pans or the kettle boiling longer than needed

Having a shower or bath:

  • close the bathroom door
  • open a window or put the extractor fan on
  • leave the window open or fan on until all the moisture has gone from the windows and walls
  • when having a bath, put some cold water in the bath first, then add hot water, this will reduce the amount of steam produced

Drying clothes:

  • dry clothes outdoors, if possible
  • if you have to dry them indoors, put them in the bathroom with the door shut, heating on and open a window or put the extractor fan on
  • if you use a vented tumble dryer, make sure it has a hosepipe taking the moisture outside

Help air move around:

  • leave doors open when you’re not cooking, having a shower or bath, or drying clothes
  • keep furniture away from walls, particularly external walls, if possible
  • don’t overfill cupboards and wardrobes
  • don’t block airbricks or vents
  • don’t completely block chimneys, leave a hole and fit an air vent
  • keep a window slightly open, if possible, this will help moisture escape

Some words of warning:

  • do not block permanent ventilators
  • do not completely block chimneys
  • do not draught proof a room where there is a cooker or a fuel burning heater, for example a gas fire


  • keep low, background heating on all day, if possible, warm air can hold more moisture so you’re less likely to have condensation
  • don’t put heating on for short periods of time as this will make the problem worse, as the air heats and cools quickly
  • don’t use liquid, propane gas or paraffin heaters, they produce a lot of water vapour
  • How to deal with damp, condensation and mould; CSE

Damp and mould in rented homes

If you have a damp and mould problem in your privately rented home speak to; write or email your landlord about your concerns and any repairs needed; the impact on your health and damage to furniture and belongings.

Contact Private Sector Housing if your private landlord does not respond to your messages. Your private landlord must carry out important repairs and make sure it is fit to live in.

We will give the tenant advice on condensation and controlling damp and mould.

If you own your property you may need to contact a damp specialist.

Damp and mould in rented homes - Shelter England