Damp & Mould
Damp and mould growth can be problematic in homes and is especially problematic throughout the winter months. The exact cause of damp, mould and condensation in your home is not always easy to identify because there may be several reasons for it developing.
Condensation Mould Growth is found in homes when there is high humidity. The most prevalent cause of black mould in homes is due to dampness created by condensation.
Condensation is caused when warm moist air hits a cold surface such as a window or external wall and condenses, running down the cold surface as water droplets. Condensation can be a problem in any property no matter how old it is. It is often worse in homes that have been ‘modernized’ if ventilation and the circulation of air is reduced. Promoting good ventilation and air circulation around the home is very important in the prevention of condensation; this allows the air to release its moisture outside your home and prevents future problems inside your home.
The National Energy Action for warm homes has produced specific advice on dealing with condensation and damp for both homeowners and tenants, this advice is available on the following link.
Dealing with damp and condensation
Dampness in a home can also occur when there are defects within a building although this does not always lead to mould growth.
Penetrating damp and rising damp are caused by defects with the fabric of a property in that water leaks into the property from outside. Other causes may be a leaking water or waste pipe.
Penetrating damp may be due to a leaking roof or blocked guttering its usually identified by visible damp patches on outside walls or on top floor ceilings.
Rising Damp is caused via the property absorbing water up from the ground through its walls and floor. This type of dampness does not usually cause mould growth due to its high salt content; it can often be identified by the presence of salts forming on surface of the wall. It is most common in very old properties which do not have a Damp Proof Course and are of solid wall construction (Pre 1920). It can also occur in modern properties where the Damp Proof Membranes have failed.
Ingress of water into a property is unacceptable, you should contact your landlord in the first instance to ensure the issue is rectified. Leaving the issue could cause further damage to the property and hazards to your health. If you are unhappy with the response or actions taken by your landlord, it is advised that you contact the council to make a Housing condition complaint.
If you are living within a Housing Association property it is advised that you contact your housing provider in the first instance. The government has published specific advice for Housing Association tenants in relation to Damp and Mould which is available on the following link.
The Council has liaised with all registered Housing providers in the locality and after review agreed their processes for dealing with damp and mould complaints. The Council will only investigate Housing Association related Damp and Mould complaints when you have:
- Demonstrated to have followed your housing association complaints procedure to completion, or you can demonstrate that the agreed procedure has been breached.