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Damp and Mould

Damp and mould growth are often mistaken for leaks or building defects. In most cases, they are caused by condensation, which occurs when warm moist air comes into contact with a cold surface like a wall or window.

Things like cooking, washing, drying clothes indoors and boiling kettles can all cause condensation because they produce warm moist air. The problem is worse in rooms where heating is not used because the surfaces in those rooms will be colder.

All homes can suffer from mould growth. It is important to remove it with a suitable cleaning fluid as soon as you notice it, to avoid it spreading.

How to prevent condensation in your home

Reduce the amount of moisture that is released into the air:

  • cover pans and only boil as much water as you need - if you have an extractor fan always turn it on when cooking
  • do not use paraffin and portable bottled gas heaters - please note that these are not allowed in any New Park Village property
  • dry washing outdoors if possible, or in the bathroom with the window open and the door closed
  • vent your dryer outside if it’s not self-condensing
  • remove excess moisture - wipe down the windows and window sills every morning, especially in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen
  • have shorter showers and turn off the shower as soon as you're out
  • if you have fish, make sure the tank is covered with a suitable hood or lid

Make sure the rooms in your home are properly ventilated:

  • keep your extractor fan switched on - they cost only around £5 per year in electricity and will help to take away moisture from the air in your home
  • keep small windows ajar or open trickle vents when the room is being used
  • open kitchen and bathroom windows when cooking, cleaning or washing to allow steam to escape, and always use the extractor fans that are provided
  • close kitchen and bathroom doors when cooking, cleaning or washing to prevent steam escaping into other rooms
  • leave space between large furniture like armchairs and sofas, and your walls to allow air to circulate

Keep your home suitably warm:

  • use your thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to gently heat up unused rooms
  • turn your heating off or put it on low when ventilating rooms to avoid wasting energy and money

Dealing with black mould

  • remove excess mould with a damp cloth and throw it away. Avoid brushing mould as this could release spores into the air
  • wipe down affected areas using a fungicidal wash, available from supermarkets and hardware stores or online. Always read the instructions on the container
  • Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and disinfectant that works well in cleaning away mould and mildew. Just dilute three to four drops in two litres of water. Test a small area first for any kind of reaction. If there’s no reaction, soak items in the solution or spray the affected area. Wipe and rinse afterwards
  • after the area has been treated, redecorate using fungicidal paint or wallpaper paste
  • dry-clean affected clothes and shampoo carpets

If you have followed the advice above and still have mould in your property please let us know. You can upload photos and video of the affected area.

I want to report mould in my home

Types of damp

If condensation is not the cause of unwanted moisture in your home, the problem could be damp. Black mould growth is very uncommon with damp. If you have black mould in your home, it is likely you have a problem with condensation.

Rising damp

Rising damp is caused by water coming up through the ground into your home. Your home will likely have a damp proof course (DPC).

A DPC is a horizontal layer of waterproof material that is put in the walls just above ground level to stop moisture from the ground rising through the walls.

To cause damp, rising water needs to pass through the DPC, which it can only do if the DPC is broken or if your home doesn’t have one. Rising damp only affects basements and ground floors, and normally rises no more than 12 to 24 inches. You can often identify rising damp by a tide mark.

Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp occurs when water leaks in through a wall or roof. Common causes include rain seeping in through a broken or missing roof tile, or spilling from a blocked gutter during heavy rain.

Faulty plumbings

Leaks can sometimes happen from water or waste pipes, mainly in the kitchen or bathroom. You can normally find the cause of the problem by checking the seals around baths, showers, sinks or pipework.

If you notice a leak or if a pipe in your home has burst, please tell us straight away. You should also:

  • turn off your water and drain your system
  • turn on all the cold taps and flush your toilet
  • turn off your heating system and the system by turning on all the hot taps
  • turn off the main power if the leak is close to any electrics
  • collect leaking water in buckets or pans
  • if your ceiling starts to bulge from a leak above, use a long implement to release the water into a large bucket

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Contents insurance

We strongly recommend that customers take out home contents insurance to protect their belongings in the event of a fire, flood or accident.

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