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Damp and mould can mean big problems for landlords, letting agents and tenants. It can cause stress and even health issues to those affected, and can mean landlords having to spend time and money on rectifying the problems.
So, it should be taken seriously by landlords and agents, but it’s also important for the tenant to play their part.
Here’s our tips and advice on what you can do to combat damp and mould.
The main causes of damp
A common cause is from condensation which occurs when air mixed with water at a warm temperature meets a surface at a cold temperature.
These occurrences tend to be in microclimatic areas, such as behind cupboards and in the corner of rooms. Additionally, areas that can be affected include places with poor insulation, cold spots such as concrete beams and a lack of ventilation.
Find out about the other causes of damp by taking a look at the third page of our “Understanding Damp & Mould” guide.
What you can do to prevent damp and mould
Knowing how you can stop damp and mould forming is by far the best way to defeat it.
Make sure that your property is insulated so it counters the usual, cold conditions in which condensation can grow.
You might want to consider increasing the level of insulation in your property (EWI, cavity fill, double glazing) to improve insulation.
Heating is also important because it lowers the opportunities for condensation to settle. Make sure your advise your tenant to turn the radiators on regularly.
Ventilation is key. Keep trickle vents on windows open and try to keep windows open, especially if the tenant is drying clothes, cooking or showering.
For a full comprehensive list of tips to help you prevent moisture production, read the “Remedies and precautions” section on page 4 of our “Understanding Damp & Mould” guide.
How to remove existing mould
If you’re unlucky and you’re currently experiencing mould in your property, don’t panic. There are ways to make it eradicate it.
Clean the mould on the walls or windows with a fungicidal wash that’s recognised by a Health and Safety Executive ‘approval number’, and follow all instructions on the bottle.
Once you’ve done this, redecorate the affected surface(s) by using a fungicidal paint to help prevent mould from reoccurring.
For any mildewed clothes or carpets, make sure that you dry clean and shampoo them respectively.
If possible, place insulation to the external walls of your property. Seek professional insulation advice if you’re not sure on how to do this.
Finally, improve ventilation by installing fans, installing windows with trickle vents, and by using Passyfier vents.
In addition to a well-ventilated, insulated and heated home, find out what else appeals to tenants by reading our “What Are Tenants Looking For?” article.