Mould and condensation

During the winter months, properties may suffer from damp and mould growth due to condensation.

This can cause black mould on walls, furniture, clothes and curtains. It can also damage plasterwork and other surfaces. This can affect any property, but there are ways you can help prevent it.

What is condensation?

Condensation is caused when moisture in the air meets a cold surface such as a window or wall and turns into drops of water. This tends to happen more in colder weather (even if its dry) as cold air can’t hold the everyday moisture you produce in your home.

What causes condensation? 

There are three main causes of condensation in your home:

  1. Too much moisture being produced in your home
  2. Not enough ventilation 
  3. Cool temperatures

You need to deal with all of the causes to cure or control a condensation problem. There is always moisture in the air, even if you can’t see it. Everyday activities like cooking, washing, bathing, drying clothes and even breathing, add moisture to the air inside your home.

How to avoid condensation

Cut moisture
There are some very simple things you can do to cut moisture in your home:

  • Hang your washing outside to dry. If this isn’t possible then hang it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open, or extractor fan on if one is fitted.
  • Cover boiling pans when cooking and use the extractor fan if one is fitted. 
  • If you use a tumble dryer, then make sure it’s vented to the outside.
  • When you are running a bath put the cold water in first. This cuts the steam produced by a massive 90%!
  • Close kitchen and bathroom doors to stop vapour moving around the house.
  • Don’t use the gas cooker to heat your kitchen - burning gas produces moisture.

Ventilate more
Ventilating removes the moist air from your home and replaces it with drier air from outside. This helps to cut condensation. Here are some simple ventilation tips:

  • Try ‘cross ventilation’. Open a small window on opposite sides of a room, if possible, to increase airflow. Please remember to make sure your open windows don’t create a security problem and close them when you go out. Keep trickle vents open as much as possible throughout your home.
  • When cooking or washing up ventilate the room or use an extractor fan if you have one.
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed when you are using them.
  • Move your furniture away from the walls slightly to allow air to circulate around.

Raise the temperature

  • Keep your heating on low in cold weather throughout your home to reduce the moisture in the air. Don’t heat just one room and make sure you check your energy meters regularly to help keep down costs.
  • Make sure you have your annual gas safety check to ensure the heating system works safely and efficiently.
  • Ask your energy provider about budget schemes to help you pay for your gas or electricity.
  • For free, independent and local energy saving advice call 0800 512 012 or visit the Energy Saving Trust (opens in a new window) website.

Problems caused by condensation

Condensation can cause mould and mildew growth. Mould will appear on any damp surface such as plaster, wallpaper and timber and mildew on clothes and other fabrics. Damp humid air provides an ideal climate for dust mites which may aggravate conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.

Dealing with mould growth

Once you have properly ventilated your home you should deal with any mould problems.

  • Wipe off mould growth immediately with water.
  • Do not use washing up liquid. 
  • To kill and remove mould growth, wipe down affected areas with a fungicidal wash. Do not use bleach.
  • Dry-clean clothes affected by mildew and shampoo carpets.
  • After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould recurring. This paint is not effective if overlaid with ordinary paints or wallpaper.

If you are a Council tenant and need to report damp or mould in your property you can do so via the following methods:

  • Log your repair online (opens in a new window)
  • By speaking to a Customer Adviser at one of our contact centres, this can be either over the telephone (01246 242424) or in person.
  • By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Via our Twitter page @BolsoverDC
  • By writing to us at Bolsover District Council, The Arc, High Street, Clowne, Derbyshire S43 4JY


 01246 242424
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