Many properties struggle with condensation and mould throughout the winter months. If left untreated, mould can cause long-term damage to the property, as well as potentially having an impact on the health of those living there.
Condensation is usually the biggest cause of damp within homes, which provides the perfect environment for mould to grow. Mould encourages mites into your home and can increase the risk of respiratory illnesses in some people.
Reducing condensation-producing activities, ventilating your home to remove excess moisture and insulating your property will all help to reduce damp in your home.
Here are five ways to reduce the amount of moisture that you produce in your home:
- Dry clothes outdoors if possible. If you have to dry them indoors use a clothes airer in the bathroom with the door closed and either an extractor fan on or a window slightly open.
- Vent tumble driers to the outside (never into the home) or use a condensing type.
- Cover pans when cooking and use an extractor fan. Do not leave kettles boiling on the stove.
- Do not use paraffin or gas bottle heaters. They produce large amounts of water vapour and are very expensive to run.
- Always ventilate or open a window when using the kitchen or the bathroom and close the doors to prevent moisture in the air from spreading to other parts of the house.
If mould does develop, there are a number of steps that tenants and landlords can each take to tackle it. Many of these steps are inexpensive, and if taken together for a prolonged period can do a great deal to keep mould problems at bay.
Tenants (and homeowners) should:
- Carefully remove mould with a damp cloth and dispose. Do not brush mould as this releases spores into the air.
- Regularly check under divan bed drawers and behind wardrobes, bedside cabinets and bedheads – wipe down any mould as above. You should also check clothing stored in cupboards, and wash affected items immediately.
- Wipe down affected areas using a good quality mould and mildew spray.
Landlords (and homeowners) should:
- Work to determine the cause of the problem.
- Carry out repairs to make good any defects identified at the property.
- After treatment, redecorate using a specialist bathroom or kitchen paint, where possible do not use wallpaper in bathrooms and kitchens. If wallpapering any area, make sure to use a good quality paste with an anti-fungicidal additive.
- Provide mechanical ventilation with a humidity sensor.
For more advice, contact North East Lincolnshire Council’s Home Energy Team on (01472) 326296, option 5, or [email protected]
Tenants should contact their landlord in the first instance if they experience any issues relating to their property as it is the landlord’s responsibility. If the landlord has not carried out any necessary repairs or responded to the request, the tenant should contact the Housing Enforcement Team on (01472) 324727.
The council would only step in to enforce housing standards in a rented property if it receives a complaint about a rented property that the landlord had not acted on.
The home energy team offers advice and support. However, it is the responsibility of the landlord to resolve issues within their property.