Housing - Damp and condensation advice
If your property is suffering from damp, the council may be able to offer you basic advice and guidance on remedying the problem. The section can also use statutory powers to require work to be carried out in private rented properties, or where dampness is caused as a result of disrepair to a neighbouring property. For more information please contact Public Protection on (01656) 643643.
There are three main types of dampness that a residential property may suffer from, these can be caused by a variety of sources and are summarised below.
This is usually visible within the living spaces of a property and may consist of a damp patch on walls where wallpaper or paint may be peeling off. This type of dampness is usually due to a leaking roof, leaking downwater pipes or leaking plumbing. If the external wall is viewed in the region of the damp patch, the fault causing the problem can usually be identified. Once the relevant repairs are carried out, the dampness will stop. The owner of the property is usually responsible for carrying out any repair work.
This is caused due to moisture rising up through walls from below ground level. This type of dampness does not occur above 1 metre above ground level. This type of dampness usually occurs where there is no damp proof course (a barrier, usually plastic which is built into a wall to prevent water rising up through the wall) or the damp proof course is defective. A white salt like substance (known as efflorescence) may be found on the surface of affected walls. A damp proof course will need to be installed to cure the problem. The owner of the property is usually responsible for carrying out these repairs.
This is due to moisture condensing on surfaces in the house. The moisture arises from sources within the home such as drying laundry and paraffin heaters. It can usually be identified when black or green mould is seen on walls, clothing and furniture. Lack of adequate ventilation and heating to overcome the moisture levels is usually the cause of the problem. Increasing ventilation (open windows, installing ventilation fans in bathrooms), increasing heating and reducing moisture levels will cure the problem. Moisture levels can be decreased by ensuring that tumble dryers vent outside, do not use flueless bottled gas or paraffin heaters and clothes should not be dried on radiators. Dehumidifiers can also be used to reduce levels of moisture in the property.
If you rent your property and it is suffering from dampness, you should report this to your landlord or agent and ask that they investigate and repair any problems. If your landlord refuses to address the problem you should contact Public Protection for further advice and assistance.