Damp and mould guidance for guardians

Dot Dot Dot works to provide safe and comfortable homes for guardians. This includes making sure that our properties are not damp, and that mould is kept to a safe minimum. 

Steps that we take to control damp and moisture include: professional treatment and removal of damp and mould where required; repairs to buildings and plumbing to prevent water from leaking in; and avoiding over-occupation so that sources of damp (cooking, washing etc) are manageable. In partnership with the measures we take, it is important that our guardians have a good understanding of damp and mould, and are aware of signs to look out for.

Different types of damp and mould

There are four different types of damp that can occur in properties:

  • Penetrating damp, which happens when water penetrates into the fabric of a building from outside to inside, for example, because of a leaking roof or pipe
  • Condensation damp, when water vapour collects and condenses on windows and walls – this happens when the insulation, ventilation or heating are insufficient for the  levels of moisture produced inside the property
  • Rising damp, when moisture travels up from the ground into the walls
  • Construction damp, caused by the way the property was designed or built

Condensation damp and penetrating damp are the most common kinds of damp that guardians might encounter.

Looking out for signs of damp or mould

Although damp is not a significant problem in itself, it needs to be managed as not doing so can lead to mould forming. Signs of damp to look out for include:

  • A musty, damp smell or increased humidity in the air.
  • Patches of discoloured paint or wallpaper, or lifting wallpaper.
  • Walls that are wet or cold to the touch.
  • Excessive water droplets around windows.

If a damp issue has progressed to the point where mould has formed, you may see the following signs:

  • Furry growth on walls. 
  • Black stains on walls or around windows. 
  • Specks of black, white, orange, green or brown on walls or around windows.

How to prevent damp and mould forming

Managing condensation damp is necessary in all homes, and is particularly important in older properties. To limit condensation damp, you should:

  • Ventilate rooms by opening a window or using an extractor fan. This is particularly important when:
    • drying laundry
    • showering and bathing
    • spending long periods in one room (e.g. when sleeping)
    • cooking
  • Ensure that heating is used to keep the property warm. 
  • Avoid doing large amounts of laundry in a short period of time. Dry laundry outside if possible, or in a room with the door closed and window open.
  • Ventilate rooms when cooking is taking place, keep lids on pans and use the minimum amount of water required.
  • Leave gaps between walls and furniture so air can circulate.
  • Use a plug-in or desiccant dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.

To limit penetrating damp, you should inform Dot Dot Dot if you notice signs of a leak or other moisture coming into your property.

How to deal with damp and mould issues when they arise

Because many of Dot Dot Dot’s properties are older, issues with damp and mould may occur from time to time. These can normally be managed safely and easily. If you notice mould in the property you occupy, please take the following steps:

Step 1: Remove mould when it develops by using a damp and mould spray such as HG Mould Spray, available at Tesco and elsewhere, whilst wearing rubber gloves. Repeat as regularly as required.

Step 2: Consider whether you can reduce the level of moisture in the affected area by reducing the sources of moisture, or by improving ventilation and heating.

Step 3: If taking these steps does not resolve the issue (or if you have discovered a serious mould problem), you should report it to Dot Dot Dot (hello@dotdotdotproperty.com).

You should not live in a damp or mouldy home, and we will assess what support or intervention is required. Our support could range from offering advice and resources in minor cases, to significant repairs or treatments in serious cases.