Damp and mould

Properties frequently experience damp problems, which can get worse in the winter. It may have an impact on the structure, furniture, and cause mould development in the building. 

Effects of damp and mould

Mould and moisture create irritants, allergies, and poisons that may be dangerous to one's health. It can have an adverse effect on your immune system, worsen respiratory disorders like asthma, and harm your lungs.

A poor quality of life, including mould and dampness, can also be detrimental to one's mental well-being.

Individuals who may be particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of mould and moisture on health include:

  • Infants and young children
  • Senior citizens
  • Individuals who have asthma, allergies, or respiratory problems
  • Individuals who already have fungal infections or eczema among their skin conditions
  • Expectant mothers
  • Individuals on immunosuppressants or undergoing chemotherapy, for example, have compromised immune systems

Common types of damp

There are 3 common types of damp found in residential properties.

  • Penetrating
  • Rising 
  • Condensation and mould


Penetrating damp is the result of external water seeping inside the structure. This is frequently the result of flaws in the flooring, windows, gutters, or roofs.

Spotchy areas on walls, moist and crumbly plaster, and mildew or spore indications are all indicators of pervasive damp.


When moisture seeps through floors and walls that are in touch with the ground, rising damp happens.

Rising groundwater levels or a faulty damp-proof course are frequently the causes.

Prior to repairing inside walls, the rising damp's cause should be addressed.


The most prevalent type of dampness in residential buildings is condensation, which is caused by moisture produced within the house.

This may result from doing things around the house including cooking, drying clothing, and taking baths and showers. The moisture from those activities condenses onto the building's cooler surfaces, which are often the walls and windows, as it cools.


One kind of fungus that thrives in wet conditions is mould, which can develop from condensation and dampness.

When mould grows, it can be seen on doors, walls, ceilings, and window frames where moisture has collected.

It can damage household furniture and frequently results in a musty odour throughout a building.

Preventing and adressing damp and mould

Keeping the house warm, boosting airflow, and avoiding moisture buildup are the keys to preventing damp and mould. To view photos of the types of damp, visit dealing with damp and condensation.

While structural problems may be the source of certain damp problems, there are things that may be done to stop condensation and mould growth:

  • Increasing ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens by using extractor fans.
  • Putting lids on saucepans and closing interior doors when cooking or taking a shower.
  • Allowing space for ventilation between furniture and outside walls.
  • Dry your garments outside if you can, or next to a window that is slightly open while the door is closed.
  • Keep your garments off of radiators to dry.
  • When it's chilly outside, aim to keep the major living rooms indoors between 18 and 21°C.
  • In the morning, dry your windows and any damp surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Reduced airborne moisture can be achieved with dehumidifiers.
  • Using specialised mould-removing treatments, mould may be eliminated. Be careful to use in compliance with the directions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Professionals should be consulted to eliminate larger areas of wet.
  • To cut down on steam, fill a bath with cold water first and then add hot water.

Futher information

  • More tips on dealing with damp and condensation are available in the National Energy Action (NEA) guidance document.
  • If you would like a copy of our response to the Secretary of State’s request for information email housing.standards@trafford.gov.uk.
  • The government has also released guidance for housing providers, but the information is useful for anyone who may be experiencing damp and mould

In extreme situations of mould and dampness, the preceding remedies might not be sufficient to address the problem. We have further details on what can be done if this is the case.