Damp and mould

Did you know that having a bath or shower can produce two pints of condensation? And two people simply being at home for the day can produce around three pints?

Understanding what causes damp and mould can help to get rid of it and stop it from coming back.

We want you to enjoy your home, and not have to worry about damp and mould. On this page we’ve provided some information on some of the reasons damp and mould can occur and some tips on how to help prevent it.

The best action to take is preventative, but you should contact us if you can’t get rid of it, or if you think damp and mould has been caused by a leak that needs repairing. When you contact us, we’ll need to ask you a few questions to help understand next steps and the root cause. We explain more further down this page.

Why deal with mould in your home?

Mould is not good for your health or your home and this is because mould spores can lead to health problems, particularly if you have asthma or other underlying health issues. The good news is there's lots of ways to prevent damp, mould and condensation occurring in the home. And we have a specialist team that can help if it’s an issue with your building.

Structural damp

This is what rising damp normally looks like

Condensation

This is what condensation normally looks like

Types of structural damp explained

  • Rising damp is caused by ground water moving up through a wall or floor. Damp-proof protective material (sometimes called a ‘course’ or ‘membrane’) usually stops the water from causing damage.
  • Penetrating damp is caused by leaking water. It’s usually caused by structural problems in a building, such as faulty guttering, or it can be caused by internal leaks, like pipes under the sink. This type of damp may expand across walls or a ceiling horizontally.

What is condensation?

Condensation happens when warm moist air meets a cold surface, like a window or an outside wall.

 

  • It’s normally caused by the everyday things being done in our homes which cause moisture in the air
  • It mainly happens when:
  1. Windows aren’t open often enough to let the warm moist air out (cooking or taking a bath are some examples)
  2. A home is not heated properly (Guidance on heating your home is included below)
  3. When the extractor fan is missing or not working properly
  • It can be found:
  1. Above windows, on the ceiling or the outside walls of a home
  2. In places where there’s not a lot of air flow – such as behind furniture
  3. The spores can spread to internal walls and furniture

Tips to reduce condensation, damp and mould in your home:

  • Don’t overfill cupboards
  • Leave space between the furniture and walls and where possible, position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls, i.e. walls which have a room on both sides, rather than against outside walls
  • Open windows when possible to let the moisture out
  • If you have vents in your walls or windows, make sure they’re open
  • Dry your washing outdoors
  • If it’s not possible to dry washing outside, try to avoid hanging it on radiators. Use a clothes horse in the bathroom with the extractor fan on, the window open and the door closed
  • Open the windows to let the moisture out if you’re drying clothes indoors
  • If you use a tumble dryer, place the ventilation pipe leads outside. If it’s a condensing tumble dryer, you still need to open a window to let the moisture out
  • Much more ventilation is needed in the kitchen and bathroom when cooking, washing up, bathing and drying clothes – to help with this, open the windows wider and switch on a fan. If you don’t have a fan – please contact us and we can arrange to come and visit
  • Keep a lid on saucepans to reduce heat (this can also save you money as you can cook on a lower heat setting)
  • When filling up the bath, run the cold water first then add the hot water – this will reduce the steam, which leads to condensation, by as much as 90%!
  • While in the bath or shower, keep the door closed to stop the moist air getting all around your home - when you finish, open the window for 10 minutes or so to let the moist air out
  • Getting the temperature right in your home is really important. To help with this we can provide you with a hygrometer to measure temperature and humidity, please get in touch if you need help and we will send you one out
  • When a home is heated to a high temperature very quickly as it can make condensation worse, so try to avoid doing this where possible, it’s also can be more expensive
  • A stable temperature is better than a swinging one. Between 18-21 degrees, with a humidity of 40-60% is best to help avoid damp and mould occurring
  • 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 and we will arrange for someone to come out to inspect for you

 

If you’re struggling with managing your utility bills or would like some help or advice, please get in touch.

Some tips which can help include:

  • Wipe down windows and windowsills when they get wet, or if you see condensation
  • Wipe down surfaces with a mould cleaner (always follow the manufacturer’s instructions)
  • When decorating, use an anti-mould paint in areas where you’ve had problems (area must be completely clear of mould first)
  • Don’t brush or hoover the mould as this can spread the number of spores in the air

Contacting us about damp and mould

If you can’t get rid of the damp and mould and have tried the relevant steps above, you should contact us. We can talk through together, discuss anything else that you could try, or whether the next step is to visit your home to help resolve the issue.

These are the steps we’ll follow when you contact us:

 

  • Call us on 0800 652 0898 and we’ll run through some questions with you. You can also email us at customer@vividhomes.co.uk with an overview of the situation, along with any images you can share, and we’ll arrange a time to call you to discuss further
  • We’ll need to find out the type of mould it is and what might be causing it. 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 crackered or loose rainwater pipes
    • (Please check these things where possible prior to reporting to help us work out how to fix the problem quicker)
  • We’ll raise any repairs that you think may be the cause
  • We’ll send you a humidity sensor and advice pack
  • We’ll ask you to monitor this for six weeks and we’ll be back in touch regularly to see how things are going
  • If things aren’t getting better after 6 weeks (or if it gets worse in the meantime), we’ll send out a damp and mould specialist to carry out a full survey of your home
  • If we think the problems are caused by the building, we’ll arrange for them to be fixed
  • We may also advise if we think there’s some things you can do to help
  • We’ll give you a call every six weeks to check how things are going until you are happy for us to close your case down

Heating your home

Keeping your home warm (and saving money doing it)

My home

Helping you make your home's safe, warm and comfortable

Home improvements

Everything you need to know about doing home improvements

Tell us more

If you’ve tried everything and you still can’t get rid of it, we can work out how to sort it

Report it