Condensation and damp

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

If left, condensation 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.

Fault in the property: landlord's responsibility

One way in which condensation, damp and mould can be caused is by a fault in the property, in this case it is the landlord's responsibility and if it is not fixed it may be enforced.

A common type of damp which can be caused due to a fault in a property e.g. leaky roof, burst pipe or faulty damp proof coursing can cause rising damp and penetrative damp. 

Tenant's responsibility

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.

Tips to airing and heating your property

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.

This type of condensation damp and mould caused by behaviours can often be fixed by:

  • cleaning the affected areas before making simple behavioural changes
  • put lids on pans when boiling foods
  • opening windows after having a shower to aerate the room
  • close doors to the rest of the house if possible when cooking
  • 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.

Download our Condensation damp and mould information for tips on how to remove the problem and prevention.

People struggling to afford heating bills can get advice from the Keep Warm and Well​ website.