Ensuring the health and safety of tenants, both in private and social housing, should be a top priority for every landlord and local council. Here is some important information that you should know about mould and damp.
Causes of Damp
Damp can result from water entering a property, with three main types affecting homes:
- Rising damp: Moisture is absorbed from the ground into the wall up to about one meter high (rarest form).
- Penetrating damp: Water enters the building from the outside, such as through a gutter leak.
- Condensation damp: Insufficient insulation, ventilation, or heating in a property leads to difficulty in managing normal water vapour levels.
Causes of Mould
Mould is a type of fungi that thrives in moist environments caused by dampness, leaks, or condensation. It can appear as black stains or specks of black, orange, green, or brown.
Condensation occurs when humid air comes into contact with a colder surface, resulting in the formation of water droplets. Mould and damp can be very dangerous for your health, don’t ignore it.
How to Treat Damp and Mould
Resolving damp and mould can be a complex process, often requiring multiple interventions. Typically, we clean affected surfaces with a fungicidal wash, but further investigations may be necessary to address the root cause. Contact your local council to investigate your matter. Each case is unique, so the approach should be tailored to your specific situation. Also, read an official council guidance on how to deal with damp and mould.
Preventing Damp and Mould
Damp and mould can stem from various factors, with condensation damp being the most common. In addition to day-to-day living practices, consider these practical steps to reduce condensation in your home:
- Close kitchen and bathroom doors while in use to contain moisture within those areas.
- Whenever possible, dry clothes outside rather than on radiators. If indoor drying is necessary, use a clothes horse in a well-ventilated room.
- Also, ensure your tumble dryer has a proper vent to the outside to avoid releasing damp air into your home.
- Regularly wipe down surfaces affected by condensation to prevent mould growth.
- Utilise extractor fans when bathing or cooking to quickly remove moist air. Opening a window alongside can further enhance ventilation.
- Periodically air your home by leaving a small window ajar where safe or utilizing window locks that allow for controlled airflow.
- Avoid placing furniture right against walls or overcrowding wardrobes, as this restricts air circulation and promotes dampness and mould.
- Keep air vents unobstructed to allow for proper airflow.
Efficiently Heating Your Home:
- We understand the challenges of rising energy costs, but if feasible, aim to keep your home sufficiently warm to minimize condensation risk.
- Use your thermostat to maintain a steady temperature between 18-21ºC for healthy adults during active periods.
Tenants have rights to file a housing disrepair claim with their local council, which will examine the available evidence to determine if an order can be issued to compel the landlord to carry out the necessary repairs. It’s important to take prompt action as this process can be time-consuming and require significant effort.
Remember, addressing damp and mould is crucial for your well-being. If you have any concerns or require assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach to local housing disrepair solicitors. Engaging a housing disrepair lawyer increases the possibility of a successful outcome.