By nickihodgson - posted on June 19, 2018

Damp, Condensation and Mould

Many homes in the UK are affected by damp conditions. There are several types of damp but the most common is condensation. This happens when moisture in the air touches a cold surface. The good news is that condensation can be tackled with a few simple behaviour changes.


Keep condensation at bay by following the ‘HIVE’ principles:

H is for heating

Warmer rooms have fewer condensation issues. Is your heating adequate?

  • Try to keep the temperature in your home about 15°C. A comfortable temperature is generally 18-21°C.

I is for insulation

Insulated walls are warmer, so moisture is less likely to condense on them.

  • Learn about the different ways to insulate your home or about schemes that may be able to help with the cost of the work.

V is for ventilation

Ventilation at the right time and in the right place can help moisture-laden air escape from your home. Less moisture = less condensation.

  • Use an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom, if you have one.
  • Open windows if it’s safe to do so, particularly after a shower/bath or when cooking.
  • Move furniture away from external walls.

E is for excess moisture

Reduce how much moisture gets into the air in the first place.

  • Keep lids on pots and pans.
  • When running a bath, put the cold water in first.
  • Dry clothes outside, if possible, or over an airer in a ventilated room with the door closed.

For more tips, there’s a handy checklist in our damp and mould advice leaflet [499KB].

It’s important to get rid of condensation as soon as you notice it and prevent it from occurring in future. If ignored, condensation can lead to mould growth, which can cause all sorts of health problems. Dust mites are also attracted to warm, damp and poorly ventilated spaces. Although too small to be seen, the droppings they leave behind can lead to breathing issues. Aside from health concerns, you might feel the pinch on your wallet in a damp home. It can be more difficult to heat a space if the surfaces are damp because they won’t retain heat as well.

Other damp problems could arise from leaky plumbing, cracked mortar between bricks, damaged roof tiles or (rarely) a defective or missing Damp Proof Course. Home maintenance and repairs should be done to fix these issues. More information can be found in our advice guide [499KB].