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Damp and mould Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Causes of damp and mould

  • What is damp and mould?

    Damp is the build-up of moisture in a property. It affects building materials, such as walls, floors, ceilings and can affect home furnishings and belongings - such as carpets, curtains, wallpaper, furniture, and clothing. When damp is present in a building it can also lead to the growth of mould and other microorganisms.

    Moisture can be caused by property condition, leaks, or many other factors. There are many types of damp that can be diagnosed including; rising, penetrating, condensation and traumatic.

  • Is damp and mould dangerous?

    Left untreated damp and mould can produce allergens, irritants, and spores which are harm to a person’s health. Damp and mould can cause ill health in anyone, but people with underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems can be at greater risk of poor health.

    Gov.uk prepared a guidance document on the health risks Understanding and addressing the health risks of damp and mould in the home - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Finding damp and mould in a property

  • What should you do if you find damp and mould in your home?

    If you notice damp or mould in your home, you should report it to your landlord straight away. Promptly reporting the issue will enable the landlord to investigate the cause of the damp and mould and hopefully treat the cause of the issue

    Your landlord should arrange to visit the property to investigate. If you feel unwell and have noticed damp and mould in your home, you should seek advice from your healthcare provider straight away.

    Some household mould can be managed by wiping the surface and ensuring suitable ventilation to a room where there is moisture present. Shelter have produced guidance on Damp and mould: what tenants need to know | Shelter.

  • I can smell damp but cannot see any mould. What should I do?

    The smell of mould without visible evidence may indicate that there is mould behind a surface, such as on the back of wallpaper, carpets, behind pipes, furniture or inside heating and ventilation units. You should exercise caution when disturbing potential sites of mould growth as removal of carpets or wallpaper can lead to a significant release of mould spores, this should be reported to your landlord to arrange for the work to be carried out by a professional.

  • What should I do if I notice damp and mould in a property?

    Prompt investigation into the cause of damp and mould is vital to avoid damage to the property or its spread through a building. A landlord should follow its own policy for responding to reports of damp and mould and arrange prompt inspections by an appropriate surveyor. A landlord should also seek to find out whether any member of the household has vulnerabilities that may put them more at risk of ill health if exposed to damp and mould.

    Best practice on responding to damp and mould is available in our Spotlight report and Centre for Learning training.

Damp and mould policies

Responding to complaints about damp and mould

Learning resources about damp and mould