Condensation dampness is common in houses which are poorly ventilated and insulated, often getting worse in winter.

It causes the growth of black spot mould on walls and other cold surfaces such as tiles and sealants around sinks, baths and windows.

How to reduce condensation

  • vent tumble dryers to the outside of your property, unless it is self-condensing
  • dry washing outdoors on a line, or put it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or the fan on
  • avoid using paraffin and portable flue-less gas heaters
  • close the kitchen and bathroom doors when they are in use, even if there is an extractor fan
  • increase ventilation by keeping windows and vents open
  • ensure there is a space between the back of wardrobes and the wall, and avoid positioning in front of exterior walls
  • when cooking, open windows in the kitchen or use an extractor fan if fitted
  • cover saucepans while cooking and do not leave kettles boiling
  • wipe down surfaces affected by condensation regularly, to prevent black spot mould growth. 

Black spot mould can be removed by washing the surface with a disinfectant.

  • keep temperatures in all rooms above 15°C as this will reduce condensation forming on external walls
  • wipe and dry windows and window sills every morning to stop water evaporating onto your furnishings
  • try to avoid drying clothes on radiators
  • ensure cupboards and drawers are not full as this will restrict air flow

Penetrating damp and rising damp

Condensation dampness is different to penetrating damp and rising damp.

Penetrating damp occurs when a fault in a building’s structure lets water in from the outside, resulting in a wet patch (without any mould growth).

If there is a problem with a home’s damp proof course, you might get rising damp, which creates a ‘tide mark’ on the walls.

If you think you have either rising or penetrating damp in your council property, contact our repairs service or visit your Neighbourhood Office or First Point.

Contact Council Housing Service

Housing and Neighbourhood Service
PO Box 5967
Sheffield
S2 9GH