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Condensation and damp

Condensation can be an indication that something has gone wrong with the property, or that the way in which the occupiers are living is causing too much moisture vapour and not airing the property enough.

Condensation if left, can turn into damp and mould which is not good for health. There are a few indicators which can help you find the source of the problem to prevent this becoming a health hazard.

Common types of damp which can be caused due to a fault in a property eg leaky roof, burst pipe works or faulty damp proof coursing, can cause rising damp and penetrative damp.

However, damp can also be caused by behavioural habits from the people living inside the property.

Everyone produces water vapour when we breathe which then goes into the air. When this water vapour is locked inside a room, it stays as moisture in the air until it hits a colder surface, like a wall or a window where it then condenses back into water droplets. This can cause damp and mould which the landlord is not responsible for. To avoid this issue occurring tenants should make sure that they are airing and heating the property adequately.

Behaviours such as drying clothes indoors, cooking without lids on pots and pans, not heating the house adequately and bathing/showering with all the windows shut creates water vapour in the air inside the property, and if is not aerated and adequately heated, this could then turn to damp.

The types of condensation damp and mould caused by behaviours can often be fixed by cleaning the affected areas before making simple behavioural changes:

  • opening windows after having a shower to aerate the room
  • close doors to the rest of the house if possible when cooking
  • put lids on pans when boiling foods
  • if you have furniture very close to a cold wall, water vapour can become trapped and condense behind these, creating damp and mould. If you notice that this has happened, clean the condensation/damp and move the furniture forward by roughly 3-4 inches

Residents struggling to afford heating bills can visit the Keep Warm and Well advice and use the BLES to help them save money on their energy bills.


  • Private Sector Housing Team
  • Environmental Health Department
    London Borough of Barnet
    Barnet House
    1255 High Road
    N20 0EJ
  • Tel: 020 8359 7995
  • FAX: 0870 889 6793
  • Email: housingconditions@barnet.gov.uk

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