Damp, condensation and mould

What is damp and mould?

What is dampness?

Dampness can originate from:

  • Leaking pipes, wastes, drainage and overflows
  • Rainwater from defective roof coverings, blocked or leaking gutters and broken pipes
  • Penetrating dampness around windows, through walls and due to raised ground levels
  • Rising damp due to lack of, or no effective, damp proof course

‘Condensation dampness’ is a condition that affects many homes and has probably become the major cause of ‘environmental’ dampness within a property. Condensation is particularly common in homes which are poorly heated and poorly insulated and usually gets worse in the colder winter months i.e. ’the condensation season’.

What is condensation?

There is always some moisture in the air, even if you cannot see it. If the air gets colder, it cannot hold all the moisture and tiny drops of water appear. This is condensation. You also notice it when you see your breath on a cold day, or when the mirror mists over when you have a bath.

Condensation can often develop in kitchens and bathrooms. Moisture is released into the air through normal daily activities in these areas such as washing, cooking, drying clothes, showering and bathing. Condensation can occur commonly on windows or external walls, or cold surfaces within the fabric of the property. Look for it in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards. It often forms on north-facing walls.

What is mould?

The development of mould growth is the most tell-tale sign that is frequently associated with damp and condensation. The appearance of mould may be black, white, yellow or green in colour, depending on the specific type of mould and the surface that it grows on. Black spot mould for example, forms pyramid shapes in wall corners and at wall/floor or wall/ceiling margins where the walls are damp. Tiny spores produced by the mould and the higher numbers of dust mites due to the moist conditions can increase the risk of asthma and respiratory illnesses in some people.

What can I do?

There are five steps you can take to tackle damp and mould in your home:

  1. Safely clean the mould in the affected area
  2. Protect your belongings by keeping them away from the area if possible
  3. Keep track of the growth of the damp and mould and take “before and after” pictures
  4. Report the damp and mould to your landlord
  5. Prevent condensation in your home

If you think you may have a damp/condensation problem in your Council home, please let us know so that we can help you with this. Please get in touch by completing the short survey below.

Damp and condensation survey

You can also email us at dampandmouldtaskforce@newham.gov.uk

If you are concerned about damp and mould in a privately-rented home, please read our guidance on problems when renting privately at the link below.

Advice for private renters