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Mould and Condensation - Who's to blame?

Landlords or Tenants? "I've got damp" !! It's a call that strikes fear into the heart of ma...


 Landlords or Tenants?

“I’ve got damp” !!  It’s a call that strikes fear into the heart of many a property manager, here starts the annual battle of diagnosing and addressing the causes of damp.

What is Mould and Condensation?

Condensation is caused when warm air hits a cold surface and results in water vapour. This in turn is the ideal situation for bacteria or ‘mould’ spores to form resulting in the all too familiar black growth. Whilst an issue for other reasons It is worth noting that it is very unlikely that rising or penetrating damp is the cause of mould as it cannot grow in these conditions.

What causes it?

Our lifestyles contribute to condensation daily, when we bath or shower the vapour needs to be let out or will hang around in the atmosphere.

Boiling pans- the water that you put in the pan that disappears as you cook needs to go somewhere.

Drying towels or clothes inside, the water that is in them doesn’t just vanish

Breathing- we each breathe out around a litre of fluid every night.

The installation of double glazing and UPVC in older properties has made this problem worse in the short term.

Not allowing a flow of air around the room, ie wardrobes, cupboards etc pressed up against walls with no gap will find that they become trouble spots for mould to grow.

What can we do to prevent it?

Sometimes lack of insulation can be a substantial cause, however, most properties these days do have correct insulation, if this is a problem there are many schemes still around that mean a landlord could apply for a grant to help with the cost of this.  Better Homes Yorkshire are currently offering some.

Adequate heating and ventilation are usually the best way to deal with this. There should be heating available in every room that can reach temperatures of between 19-21degrees.

Air bricks, extractor fans and windows need to be used correctly, If you have a room with no escape then the problem will just exacerbate. It can seem counterproductive to put the heating on and open a window, however, that is what is required.

Don’t dry clothes inside or over a radiator

Cover pans when cooking.


 If the cause of the mould is found to be structural then there are things you can do to the property. Have a look at Envirovent website, talk to your Housing Standards dept, or ask a reputable damp surveyor for an independent assessment.

Call Claire or Charlotte at Belvoir York for further information on this or other issues you may have in your rented property on 01904 231022 

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