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Damp and mould

Condensation, damp and mould

Most homes in the UK will get small patches of mould, especially during the winter. Mould can spread quickly, so it is important to take early action to prevent it becoming serious. Mould can be damaging to your health, especially if you have asthma or a health condition.

Treat the cause of mould

If you do not treat the cause, the mould will keep growing back. Most of the time, mould can be prevented by managing 3 things:

  • reducing moisture in the air
  • ventilation
  • heating

By following the easy steps, you should be able to get rid of mould from your home.

Reduce moisture in the air

You cannot always avoid adding moisture into the air, for example, when you cook or wash. In an average night, when asleep you can release a pint of moisture into the air just from breathing.

There are plenty of simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of moisture:


  • Dry clothes outside where possible, or in a room (preferably the bathroom) with a window open, or extractor fan running, and doors closed. Only use a tumble dryer if it is venting outside or has a condenser.
  • Avoid blocking radiator heat with wet clothes and washing.
  • For wet clothes and washing, use a clotheshorse or airer.

Kitchen and bathroom

  • Keep lids on saucepans when cooking, ventilate the room and keep your extractor fan on.
  • Always run the extractor fan or open a window when showering or cooking.
  • Wipe away any excess water on floors, tiling and worktops.
  • Never use your gas cooker to heat your kitchen as it produces moisture.
  • Run the cold water in the bath first to reduce steam by 90%.

Your home

  • Dry condensation from your windows and sills each morning. Wring out the cloth rather than leaving it to dry on a radiator.
  • You can buy condensation channels/sponge strips in DIY shops. Which when fitted to windows, collect moisture.
  • Trickle vents must remain open.
  • Check your house thoroughly for any leaks or cracks that could be bringing more moisture into the home. If you do find anything, you can report it through MyHome. 

Ventilate your home

Ventilation allows air to flow through your home. Condensation builds up when the moisture in the air cannot escape.

  • Keep a window open where possible, even if just for a little time each day.
    Open 2 windows at the same time on different sides of your home for around 30 minutes.Having inside doors open at the same time helps air to circulate.
  • If possible, place furniture against internal walls not outside ones which are much colder. Try to leave a gap between the wall and furniture to allow air to circulate around.
  • Leave a gap between the curtains and the wall during the day.
  • Do not add a seal to kitchen and bathroom windows or to windows in rooms that are prone to damp.
  • Do not over-fill cupboards and shelves.
  • Do not overfill your rooms with possessions, furniture and belongings.
  • Take care to avoid over ventilating your home. Too much cold air coming in will increase your heating costs and cause the temperature in the home to drop and increase condensation. It is all about getting the balance right.

Bathroom and Kitchen

  • When you bath or shower: keep the extractor fan running and the windows shut or open bathroom windows to allow moisture to escape.
  • Make sure window vents are always open.
  • When you cook in the kitchen use your cooker hood or extractor fan if you have one, leaving a window slightly ajar and close doors to the rest of the house.


If your home is under-heated then you are more likely to have issues with condensation. Use your thermostat to help you keep heating at a steady temperature when rooms are in use (between 18-21 degrees Celsius is ideal). Try to find a comfortable setting that will give you the heat you need and does not increase your heating costs.

We know many people are worried about the cost of heating their home and struggling to pay bills. A range of support and advice is available at our cost of living page

Tips for clearing mould


  • Open windows in the room you are cleaning but shut the door.
  • Wear protective gloves and a face mask, along with old clothes that you do not mind throwing away after removing the mould.
  • Use a domestic cleaning product or mould remover from a supermarket, DIY store or high street retailer as these are designed to tackle mould. There may be some natural products such as vinegar or baking soda that may help to tackle mould.
  • Carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and safety instructions for any product or mould remover you use.
  • After clearing the mould, clean and wet wipe all surfaces in the room to remove spores that have spread.
  • Dry any surfaces to remove excess moisture after cleaning.

Do not

  • Use a vacuum cleaner on the affected area as this can spread mould spores.
  • Use bleach as this can sometimes make the situation worse.
  • Use washing up liquid as it will not be strong enough to do the job.

How to report damp and mould

If you find that none of the above tips resolve the damp or mould in your home, you can report it to your landlord.

Advice for council or social rent tenants



Advice for private rent tenants