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Before making a report of damp, condensation or mould

If you have problem with damp, condensation and/or mould in your property, please read and follow the guidelines below before reporting it. There are more detailed steps on our How you can treat damp, condensation and mould page.

Damp

Damp generally describes what happens when water penetrates the structure of a building, causing damage. Damp is usually described as “Rising” or “Penetrative”.

Rising Damp is generally caused by a failed, bridged or non-existent damp proof course and only affects ground floor walls up to a height of 1.2 m (4 foot). Rising Damp is uncommon and often follows work such as a new patio or banked soil against the property above the damp proof course allowing moisture to rise up through porous materials such as brick, cement and plaster. Typical treatments include removing the cause, installing a channel style drain or French drain, chemical injection or waterproofing render.

You can also get rising damp within a floor due to failed or missing damp proof membrane which will affect floor coverings such as carpet, wood or laminate flooring etc.

Penetrative Damp, describes failure in the weather-tightness of a building due to external leaks from defective roof materials, leaking overflows, defective gutters or downpipes or internal plumbing leaks All penetrative damp issues should be reported as a repair as soon as possible to minimise damage and to limit the amount of damage.

Regularly checking your home for leaking pipes, water stains on ceilings and walls from water penetration through roofs and/or window frames will assist us in maintaining your home as well reducing the amount of damage and the effect on the enjoyment of your home.

Condensation

Condensation is a physical process that occurs when there is a build-up of moisture in the air. Condensation is caused when moisture held in warm air meets a cold surface like a window or wall and condenses into water droplets. Think of when you boil a kettle and the steam hits kitchen tiles or the underside of a kitchen unit forming small droplets of water. If this is allowed to happen regularly, mould may start to grow on cold ceilings, outside walls, around windows and in the places where air doesn’t circulate well.

Condensation can aggravate health problems like asthma, bronchitis, arthritis and rheumatism.

Everything that breathes and perspires puts moisture into the air. You notice it when you see your breath on a cold day. An adult breathes out about 1 pint of water each day. Bathing and personal washing produces about 2 pints of water a day. Boiling water when cooking and drying clothes inside puts much more water into the air.

According to the World Health Organisation Europe, approximately 10-50% of the indoor environments (depending on the country) where human beings live, work and play are damp. One of the main factors of these damp properties is condensation caused by day-to-day activities. It is vital therefore to discuss with us any condensation issues within your home so we can work with you to minimise its impact in your home.

Balancing the heating and ventilation in your home is an important part of managing condensation. Our homes may be more thermally efficient but they are also much more sealed up meaning less air movement and ventilation. Ventilation systems such as humidistat fans and positive input ventilation (PIV) help to improve the internal environment and cost very little to run but must be left on to work effectively.

Mould

Mould is a natural organic compound that develops in damp atmospheres. In housing terms, mould is often a consequence of water penetration and/or condensation in properties that are not adequately heated and/or ventilated. Mould will only grow on damp surfaces and in most cases this is a direct result of condensation. Mould is unsightly, smelly and in addition to colonising in areas that are colder or have poor air movement (such as behind furniture) it affects soft materials such as clothes, furniture and carpet etc.

If you have damp and mould in your home, you are more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system.

Mould growth can produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants and sometimes, toxic substances.

Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash and can also cause asthma attacks.

For more information about how damp and mould can affect your health visit the NHS website.

Housing Online Account

You can request a repair through your Housing Online Account using the link below. If you haven't created an account, it only takes a few minutes to sign up, tell us about the repair and let us know when you are available. We will then be in touch, by email, with an appointment.

Login or create an account to report your housing repair - opens new window

Make a report of damp, condensation or mould

If you have tried all the steps above to manage the condensation and mould in your home and are still experiencing problems, please use the online form below to send us a report, you can upload photos with your submission.

Report a problem with Damp, Condensation or Mould - opens new window

Alternatively you can contact us by email dampandmouldenquiries@stevenage.gov.uk.

We take all reports of damp, condensation and mould seriously. We have a specialist team of surveyors and contractors experienced in dealing with these issues who will work with you to solve the problem/s.