Damp, mould and condensation
Damp, mould and condensation can cause serious health problems for you and your family, as well as damage to your home and your belongings. That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of damp, what causes it, and what to do when you spot it. It’s also important to understand the daily living tasks that create condensation, to keep you and your home happy and healthy.
Watch our animation
Watch our animation to understand the different types of damp in your home, how to report it, and how to combat condensation.
Causes of damp in your home
Here are the four main causes of damp in your home.
This is damp that rises up from the ground and into the walls of your home, drawn up by a process called capillary action. It happens in homes with no damp proof course (DPC) or where the DPC has been damaged. It usually rises only 30-60cm up the walls and will leave noticeable damp patches and salty tidemarks on your walls, where the salts from the building materials are deposited.
ℹ Rising damp is unlikely to cause black mould, because the salts in the water inhibit its growth.
This is caused by damp getting through the walls, via missing pointing, roof leaks or other building defects. This can happen anywhere in your home but will be located close to where the defect is. It will be more noticeable directly after rain and will leave a noticeable damp patch on your walls or ceilings.
ℹ Like rising damp, penetrating damp is unlikely to cause black mould, because the salts in the brickwork limit its growth.
Damp can also be caused by leaking or defective plumbing, commonly occurring in bathrooms and kitchens. Look for leaks from pipe joints, bath and sink seals and around showers and baths. Defective guttering will also cause damp, allowing water to run down the outside of your walls and penetrate the brickwork.
ℹ Black mould is less likely to occur with defective plumbing due to the chemicals found in soaps and cleaning products inhibiting its growth.
Condensation happens when the air gets colder and it cannot hold all the moisture. Tiny drops of water appear and if this happens on a regular basis it can cause condensation in your home, leaving black or green mould growth on walls and furniture. It is important to provide sufficient ventilation to allow moisture generated by daily living to escape.
ℹ Of all the causes of damp and mould, condensation is the most likely to cause black mould, due to the lack of chemicals in the water, which in other cases, inhibit its growth.
What is black mould?
Black mould is a particular kind of mould that occurs in damp and poorly ventilated homes. It can grow on walls, tiling, window frames, sills and other areas where moisture can collect. Left untreated, it can build up and cause significant health problems, particularly for those people with pre-existing respiratory conditions.
Report damp straight away
If you have signs of damp, mould or condensation in your home it’s important to report it straight away, to keep you and your home safe and well-maintained. Please use the form below, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 0330 303 3000 (option 1), or report it on mySLH, WebChat or our social media channels.
Top tips on how to keep condensation in your home to a minimum
Here are some practical steps you can take to reduce the amount of condensation in your home.
When running a bath, run cold water first then add the hot.
Open windows when cooking or running a bath.
If you use a tumble dryer, make sure it’s vented to the outside unless it’s a condenser dryer.
Wipe up any water lying on the window sills in the morning.
Hang washing outside to dry where possible.
Use one room to dry clothes with the window open slightly and the door closed.
Avoid hanging wet washing on radiators.
Cook with pan lids on and do not use excessive amounts of water.
The Government recommends that as the temperature outside drops, you need to keep the temperature inside your home between 18 and 21 degrees. Keeping your home a little warmer can help prevent condensation.
When it comes to damp, mould and condensation, it’s important to understand what we as a landlord are responsible for, and what you as a tenant need to do. Only by working together can we deal with damp, mould and condensation in an effective way.
- Respond promptly to reports of damp, mould and condensation
- Repair structural issues that cause rising damp, penetrating damp or poor ventilation in your home
- Provide you with information and advice to combat condensation in your home
- Promptly report any issues with damp, mould and condensation in your home
- Follow our advice to minimise condensation in your home that is caused by daily living tasks
What happens when you make a report?
The timescales that we will work to in order to resolve damp and mould issues in your home, and the type of work you can expect to be done.
What happens when you make a report?
Once you make a report of damp and mould, your home will be inspected within seven days by trained & experienced surveyors.
In straightforward cases, works will be completed within 28 days. However, if there are any major works, these will be completed within 56 days in line with planned works timescales.
If we carried out a damp and mould inspection to your home last year, we will carrying out a follow up inspection this winter to check if the damp and mould has been fully resolved.
What kind of work will you do?
In many cases the kind of work that we will do might include:
- washing down walls with anti-fungal treatments
- repairing leaks
- improving ventilation, providing dehumidifiers and/or temporary heaters.
If the issue is caused by more fundamental problems with the structure of your home, a specialist surveyor will be required to advise about changes we might need to make.
Further information and resources
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South Liverpool Homes