Tips to avoid condensation, damp and mould

Your home should be a place you love to live – without worrying about damp or mould. On this page, you’ll find tips on how to prevent condensation in your home, and information on how we can help if you have more of a problem.

It’s important that you let us know so we can help identify the underlying causes and what action can be taken.

What is condensation?

There’s always moisture in the air, even if you can’t see it. Most moisture in your home is created by everyday activities like washing, cooking and bathing – even breathing. If humid air comes into contact with a cool surface, like a window or wall, condensation will form.

How does condensation lead to mould?

If condensation regularly forms on a surface, it provides perfect conditions for mould to grow. Mould commonly appears in bathrooms and kitchens, behind furniture or in cupboards, on external walls and around window frames.

Why deal with mould?

Mould isn’t good for your health or your home. Breathing large quantities of mould spores can cause health problems, particularly if you have asthma or other health issues. Don’t worry, there are lots of ways you can prevent condensation, damp and mould in your home. Damp isn’t always caused by condensation, and if it’s an issue with the building we will put it right.

How we can help

If you’ve tried to reduce the moisture in your home and it’s not working, or if you have a problem with severe condensation or mould, please ring us on 0300 5000 926.

We can help with the following:

Excess condensation
If you have excess condensation, we can help. Simple things like fitting trickle vents in your windows for constant air flow, or installing extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom can make a big difference. We may also be able to carry out a mould wash.

Rising damp
Very rarely, rising damp may be the problem. It causes a ‘tide mark’ (or horizontal line) to travel up your wall. This means that groundwater could be getting in, usually due to a damaged damp proof course. If you think you have rising damp, don’t worry – contact us as soon as you can, and we’ll investigate it for you and work quickly to resolve things.

Penetrating damp
Penetrating damp is caused by water seeping through the walls, often due to a leak or faulty roofing. If you think your home may have penetrating damp, we’re here to help – let us know as soon as you can, so we can arrange a home visit and find the right solution.

If you’re a shared owner or leaseholder, you’re normally responsible for the repairs and maintenance of your home but please speak to us in case any problems are due to a structural issue that we’re responsible for. 

What we’ll do

We’ve introduced a new approach so that we treat any condensation, damp and mould report as a priority repair.

  • We’ll ask you about the extent and location of any issues – and our advisers can also tell you how to send us photos of the problem areas.
  • We’ll work with you to arrange a convenient time to visit your home to assess the situation.
  • We’ll aim to visit to do an assessment and any initial works within 10 working days.
  • We’ll then discuss any one-off or ongoing treatment that may be required.
  • One of our property managers will also do a follow-up call or visit within three months to make sure that the problem has not reoccurred.

Tips to reduce moisture and condensation in your home

There are lots of ways to keep your home condensation-free:

Heat your home efficiently

  • Condensation occurs more often during winter. Make sure all your rooms have suitable heating
  • In cold weather it’s better to keep the heating on at a constant low level*, rather than putting it on in short, high bursts. Try not to let the temperature drop below 14 degrees
  • Don’t try to warm an unheated room by leaving the door open to a heated room – the warm air will enter the cold room and condense on cool surfaces.

*Keeping your home at a constant temperature might sound expensive, but actually takes less energy than warming it once from a cold temperature. Compare it to boiling a kettle – to boil from cold takes a few minutes but it’s quicker to boil again when still warm, so uses less energy.

Keeping your home warm will reduce the impact of condensation but, if you're struggling with the cost of your heating bills, please visit our lower fuel bills page for advice and support, including discounts you may be eligible for.

Reduce moisture in the air

  • When cooking, open a window or use an extractor fan, and keep the kitchen door closed Keep lids on saucepans when you cook
  • When taking a bath or shower, open a window or use an extractor fan, and close the bathroom door. Keep the door closed afterwards to stop moist air spreading
  • When running a bath, put cold water in first then add hot – it reduces steam by 90%
  • Dry clothing outdoors where possible. If you can’t do that, use a room with the window open and door closed – and don’t put clothes on radiators to dry
  • If you use a tumble dryer, make sure it has a ventilation pipe leading outside
  • Avoid using portable gas or paraffin heaters as these produce a lot of moisture
  • If you see condensation forming, don’t worry – simply wipe it away with a clean dry cloth and open the window.

Increase air flow

  • Keep vents and window trickle vents open and clear
  • Open windows to let the air circulate
  • Avoid putting too many things in cupboards, as this limits air circulating
  • Leave about two inches of space between furniture and external walls, so air can circulate
  • Don’t leave clothing or bedding in the corners of rooms.

This helpful Hackney Council video also includes lots of tips on how to prevent damp and mould.