We are highlighting the importance for all householders to take steps to prevent mould from forming in their homes and to treat it quickly and effectively.

All properties will be affected by some damp and mould, however, if it is left to build up then it can cause mould on walls and furniture, cause plasterwork to bubble or crumble and wooden window frames to rot. It can also affect the health of the occupants.


There are different types of damp but condensation is the most common cause.

Condensation usually occurs during colder months when moist air comes in to contact with a cold surface such as windows and walls. This causes water droplets to form which can soak into plaster on walls, or on seals around windows and in time black mould can form. It can also form in corners of rooms, behind furniture or inside wardrobes where the air doesn’t circulate.

What can I do to help reduce condensation?

Produce less moisture

The less moisture you produce the better. Use lids on pans when cooking, dry clothes outdoors instead of on radiators, or if you have a tumble dryer ensure it is vented outdoors if it is not a condensing tumble dryer.

In the winter it is difficult to dry clothes outdoors and tumble dryers can cost a lot to run, so if you need to dry clothes indoors, use an airer in a room such as a bathroom with the door closed and window slightly open or extractor fan on- this will keep the moisture in one room and enable it to escape.

Wipe windows and windowsills every morning to remove the water where condensation has formed.


When cooking or using a bath or shower, ensure you keep the door closed and use the extractor fan, ensuring that this stays on for a little while after you finish using the room. If you do not have an extractor fan, then open a window to let the steam out.

Try and ventilate all rooms by using trickle vents on windows or put windows on the latch to let the air circulate. Also make sure that there is a gap between your furniture and the walls to enable air to circulate.


Heat your house regularly or keep it on low all day in the cold weather. Use thermostatic radiator valves to keep the heating on low in rooms which are not used frequently. If you don’t have central heating use a room heater with a timer and temperature control.

If you are struggling to afford to heat your home, then Beat the Cold may be able to provide help and assistance on reducing your energy bills and can advise on grants that may help you. They can be contacted on 01782 914915


Ensure your home is well insulated and free from draughts. Your loft should be insulated to the recommended depth of 270mm and cavity walls should be insulated. If you have solid walls then you can get solid wall insulation. Windows and doors should be draught proofed- use draught excluders where possible and consider getting double or secondary glazing. Better insulation will also reduce the amount it costs to heat your home.

To find out about the help available to improve the energy efficiency of your home visit Staffordshire warmer homes or contact Beat the Cold on 01782 914915

Removing Black Mould

If you do have black mould on your walls and ceilings then you can remove it using a mild detergent such as washing up liquid, a diluted bleach spray or a mould remover- always follow the instructions on the bottle; wear gloves, eye protection and a mask where required and ventilate the room. Allow the surface to dry and hoover the room to remove any mould spores. In rooms that are prone to mould, such as bathrooms, you can consider painting with a mould resistant paint.

Other Types of Damp

Rising damp only affects ground floor rooms or basements and can cause dampness up to 1m in height. It does not usually cause black mould but there are often white salts and tide marks in affected areas. It is due to a defective or non-existent damp proof course. If you have this type of damp then you will need to inform your landlord or get advice from a qualified builder.

Penetrating damp is found on external walls or ceilings as a result of a damaged roof, missing or damaged brickwork or rendering, leaking pipes or blocked guttering. It doesn’t usually cause black mould and is often wet to the touch. It can be remedied but you may need to inform your landlord or consult a qualified builder for assistance.

If you live in a rented property that suffers from damp and mould, you should try speaking with your landlord and allowing them time to investigate and fix the problem. If your landlord fails to make improvements you can contact the Environmental Health Team to make a complaint at EHsupport@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk or 01283 508578- if you have any photos then please send them to us along with details on the location of the problem.