Mould and condensation

What is mould?

Mould is the black fungus that can build up when there is too much moisture in a room. 

It can be seen, but often you can tell it's there by the musty smell it gives off.

Mould is often seen:

  • around windows
  • in the corners and edges of a room
  • behind wardrobes and cupboards

Mould can spread to clothes, shoes, and handbags if they are in a damp wardrobe. 

What causes mould?

Mould is caused by too much still moisture in the air. This can happen because:

  • the room is too cold
  • there is no free flow of air into and out of the room
  • condensation forms

Why is mould a problem?

Aside from being an eyesore, mould is a problem because it can:

  • cause health problems in children and vulnerable adults
  • irritate existing skin problems
  • ruin your clothes and soft furnishings

Mould can spread quite quickly if you do not do anything about it.

How to get rid of mould

The NHS website gives a range of helpful tips for getting rid of mould.

How to prevent mould

There are three things that together can prevent mould from happening:

  • reducing the moisture in the air
  • improving the air-flow
  • keeping the room warm

Reducing moisture

Condensation is the main cause of mould. This happens, for example, when you:

  • boil the kettle
  • have a shower or bath

Even when you’re asleep, you release a pint of moisture into the air.

If you find that your windows and walls have condensation on them, wipe them down with a cloth and wring it out. Do not put it on the radiator to dry as it will release the water back into the air.

It's your job as a tenant to deal with mould caused by condensation

If your home suffers from damp, mould or condensation, please let us know about it. We'll be able to let you know if it's something you need to fix or something we need to book a repair for.

Get in touch on 0800 218 2000 or email

condensation on a window

Here are some ways you can reduce the amount of condensation in your home:

  • keep a window ajar when possible
  • open windows on opposite sides of your home to let the air flow through
  • use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom if you have them
  • keep window vents open
  • dry washing outside if possible
  • make sure your tumble dryer is vented correctly
  • cook with the lids on the saucepans
  • if you're having a bath, put the cold water in first

Improving airflow

open window vent

Good ventilation means that the air can flow freely through a room. It stops wet air condensing on the walls and windows.

If you're cooking in the kitchen, open the window slightly. Do the same if you're having a shower or a bath.

Keep the rooms warm

It’s not always possible to keep windows open all the time, especially in the winter. 

If ventilation does not work on its own, you can use your home's heating to keep condensation at bay. 

It’s better to keep the heating on all day at a low level than putting it on in short bursts, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.

Use the thermostat to keep rooms at between 18 and 20 degrees C. 

Do not warm a cold room by leaving the door open. Warm damp air will enter the room and condense on cold surfaces.

What about my energy bill?

If you find that your heating bill goes up, see if you can use better ventilation rather than heating to beat condensation.

You might find the perfect balance between ventilation and heating. You'll need to experiment.

You can use the valve on the radiator to reduce the heat in rooms that you do not use very often.

If you’re having problems affording your heating bill, speak to your energy supplier. They may be able to offer you a way to spread the cost.

view of a radiator valve