Advice on damp and mould

There are three main causes of damp and mould within properties.  These are:

  • condensation
  • penetrating damp
  • rising damp


Condensation is by far the most common cause of damp and mould within properties, particularly during the winter months.

As the weather gets colder and heating is turned on windows are generally fully closed.  The average family produces around 20 pints of moisture a day and in an un-vented property this moisture will condense within the property. 

This moisture can cause mould growth on walls and ceilings as well as on furniture and your possessions.

Further advice on managing condensation and mould growth.

Penetrating damp

This occurs when there is a defect with the fabric of the building or services within it allowing water to enter the property.  For example a roof leak, disrepair to window and/or door frames or a leak from a water pipe within the property.

Penetrating damp can usually be identified by water staining, usually yellowy brown in colour, in a particular area where the water is entering the property.  The location of this staining is generally an indication of the source of the leak/water penetration.

Rising damp

Rising damp is caused by the breakdown, deterioration or bridging of the damp proof course of the building.  Moisture then rises up the walls to a maximum height of 1 metre.

As with penetrating damp it can be identified by a tide mark which can be yellowy brown or can be white and textured.  This texture is caused by salts from the ground and the plaster being drawn through the wall with water.

More information

If you are a Waverley Borough Council tenant, please follow the advice outlined in Tackling damp, mould and condensation in your council home.

Page owner: Paula Mackenzie. Last updated: 02/07/2020 09:25

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