Damp, condensation and mould
Damp is a result of a structural defect in the building and is often characterised as rising damp, penetrative damp or is a result of a leak.
Condensation is a much more common problem in the home. Where water vapour naturally in the air condenses onto colder surfaces such as windows, and often where there is little ventilation like the corners of a room or behind furniture.
Mould and dust mites thrive in damp and humid conditions, and both can be detrimental to your health. Where you have a problem with damp or condensation it is important to take action.
Damp – disrepair
The following link has a useful description and the classic signs of different causes of damp: Citizens Advice – Repairs - damp
If you believe you have damp as a result of disrepair, first contact your landlord to give them a chance to rectify the situation. If you still have a problem, the landlord is slow to act, or does not act, then please contact us.
Condensation - what causes condensation and what should you do?
Adding moisture in a home is inevitable, for example when you sleep your breathing can release up to a pint into the air. But the main causes of condensation tend to be drying laundry indoors and heating water for cooking, baths or showers.
The best way to prevent condensation is to keep your home well ventilated; warm and dry. Open your windows regularly so that fresh air can circulate.
Wipe down windows and their sills every morning, to prevent a build-up of excess moisture. You should also wipe down bathroom tiles after having a shower or bath.
For more detail about the causes of condensation and what you can do to reduce the risk of mould in your home visit:
- Centre for Sustainable Energy – Condensation, damp and mould
- YouTube – Moisture guidance for existing homeowners
- Shelter England – Damp and mould in rented homes
Moisture balance calculator
The UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB) have provided a moisture balance calculator. Using this tool provides a better understanding of the moisture balance in your home and the factors at play. If your home is out of balance, you might be able to identify easy ways to regain moisture balance and create a healthier home: UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB) – Moisture balance calculator
Help to heat your home
If your home is poorly insulated and expensive to heat, you may be eligible for financial help. To check if you are eligible visit: Warm Homes Suffolk
For further help and advice on the cost of living visit: West Suffolk Council – Cost of living
West Suffolk Council's action plan for damp and mould
In November 2022, the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, asked all local authorities to set out an assessment of damp and mould hazards in private rented properties in their area and the actions being taken to remediate them: Letter from DLUHC Secretary of State to local authorities regarding damp and mould.
This was in response to the Coroner's report into the tragic and avoidable death of Awaab Ishak.
This plan sets out the actions the council submitted to central Government: West Suffolk's action plan for damp and mould. Also included is an update on progress towards achieving them. These actions and projects are helping us to continue to gather data and intelligence on the condition of the private rented housing stock in West Suffolk and to focus on resources effectively to address priority areas such as damp and mould.
Following the advice provided above will often resolve problems in most homes, however if it doesn’t and you are a private tenant or rent from a social housing provider, then in the first instance contact your landlord, providing them with the opportunity to rectify the situation. If you still have a problem, the landlord is unresponsive or slow to act then please contact us:
West Suffolk Council - Customer Services
Phone: 01284 763233