Dampness in the Home

Damp, Condensation and Mould Growth

If you are a tenant and suffer from damp in your property then you should contact your landlord to advise them of the problem.  Your landlord should then arrange for a specialist to inspect the damp to confirm its cause.  If the problem is not resolved contact the Housing Standards team for further advice. 


Damp occurs when water penetrates into the fabric of a building and may be caused by: 

  • Rainwater seeping through the roof where a tile or slate is missing, spilling from a blocked gutter or penetrating around window frames.
  • Rising damp due to a defective damp-course or because there is no damp-course.        
  • Leaking pipes, wastes or overflows. Often you can see damp as “tide marks” on walls and ceilings.


Normal daily activities such as taking showers and baths, washing and drying clothes, cooking and boiling kettles produce warm air containing a large amount of water vapour. If the warm air can’t escape through an open window or air vent, it moves around until it finds a cold surface where it cools and forms condensation.

Condensation occurs mainly during cold weather, whether it is raining or dry. It does not leave a "tidemark". It appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air. Look for it in corners, on or near windows and in or behind wardrobes and cupboards.

If condensation keeps on occurring in the same place, it can sometimes cause black mould growth.

Controlling mould growth

If you notice mould growing in your home, you should treat it straight away to stop it from spreading and causing more damage to your home. Sterilise the affected area with a suitable fungicidal wash (available from most DIY stores), or a diluted bleach solution. Ensure that you wipe away any water vapour visible on surfaces to prevent mould growth from re-occurring. 

For further advice and information please refer to our Keep Your Home Free From Damp and Mould leaflet or the Damp and Mould brochure.


Housing Standards Team
Tel: (01444) 477292
Email: housingstandards@midsussex.gov.uk