How to Get Rid of Dampness and Humidity in the Home

The Problem of Dampness In the Home

Every house can suffer from damp problems, for many reasons, but there are certain things that will work for everybody to get rid of damp once and for all. If you are asking yourself, "Why is my house so damp?" then it is often quite simple to fix the issues.

The two main reasons for dampness are:

  • Moisture cannot escape
  • Water is getting in

Quite often, it's your lifestyle that's causing condensation and possibly mold to build up inside your home. When I was growing up, my father was fastidious about opening a window in the kitchen, thereby not letting steam build up, and about wiping down condensation on the windows. It used to drive me mad, but now I know what he was trying to do. When I moved into an older house, I started to see what happens if you don't keep on top of moisture build-up as soon as the signs of dampness appear.

Some damp problems, like rising damp (the structural dampness inside the walls that indicates a breach in structure of a building, resulting in rain intrusion from outside or condensation from within) will need professional advice, but genuine rising damp is rare.

Below, you will find three simple solutions to prevent dampness in your home.

1) Ventilate Your Home Properly

It's common in the winter to keep the windows closed and as a result, with modern draught-proofing, water has nowhere to go.

Condensation can result from tumble drying, baths/showers, or even just your own breath! The kettle boiling and food being cooked all release steam and moisture in the air which will find the coldest spot on your walls or windows and condense. From there, it's a small step to becoming damp. Getting rid of dampness in your house sometimes means changing your own habits and adjusting your lifestyle.

All that water has to go somewhere and if it can't get out, it will pool. Maybe you have some black mould on the bathroom ceiling or around window frames. This is a sign that the water vapour couldn't escape.

One solution is to install double-paned windows with two layers of glass to improve insulation. This will help with dampness as well as reduce the loss of heat. If you are having new double glazing fitted, you might also insist on trickle vents and keep them open. These vents at the top of windows give the damp air chance to escape, but you can always close them off if and when you want.

2) Get a Dehumidifier

Really. It's that simple. A dehumidifier will suck in all the air in the room and squeeze out the moisture that causes damp and mould. The water collects in a small bucket in the unit which you empty. Move the dehumidifier around the house from room to room, wherever it seems needed. 24-36 hours in each room is enough.

If your house is old, with no damp proof course (DPC), it might not look, smell, or seem damp, but I bet it's in there! My house looks fantastic, but I put a dehumidifier into my bedroom 24 hours ago and already it's sucked nearly two pints of moisture from the air.

Stop suffering from damp today and scour the classified ads for a dehumidifying unit now. I wouldn't live without one.

Portable Dehumidifier

You can get portable dehumidifiers that you can easily move around, from room to room or even from home to home. Our extended family shares a dehumidifier: No need for us all to own one!

Small Dehumidifier

There are small dehumidifiers available, too—for cupboards and small rooms, caravans, sheds, and lofts. Some will even fit on a windowsill.

Tip: if you dry your clothes indoors, a dehumidifier will suck the water out of the wet clothes as well as the room in a matter of hours! Use it if your tumble drier packs up!

3) Keep on Top of Wiping Down Mould

Become aware of where condensation collects in your house. Common places to find black mould are:

  • Behind furniture, such as a sofa or a bookcase
  • In the corners of rooms
  • Under the window and accumulating on the window frame/window sill
  • Inside fitted cupboards and wardrobes

If you just have a mild bit of mould discolouring, you can easily get rid of it by simply wiping it down with a wet wipe or a damp cloth. If it's a bit more obvious, you might need to wipe it down with a damp and mould spray. Watered-down bleach works great, or check out what products are available at your local hardware store or supermarket.

Getting rid of damp and mould in your house is something that you need to keep on top of and solve. Damp walls can affect your belongings and your health, and it's just not nice living in a damp house. Since most problems can be solved with just a short amount of time, investigating, ventilating, and getting a dehumidifier now will pay off in the long run.


ahmed 8 years ago

getting black patches and wet mark in kitchen and living room on external walls

earner profile image

earner 8 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If you have black mould it might be condensation. You can scrape the area off, wipe it with neat bleach then paint over it with special damp paint. That will get rid of the staining and you can then paint over it.

Next, try to ventilate the room. Leave windows open when you're cooking and leave them for a good 20 minutes' afterwards.

It might be coming through the wall though. If it is an old house with penetrating damp or an old house with the drainpipe by that wall, it could be blocked drains or leaky gutters. So if the black mould in the kitchen is on an outside wall it's worth looking outside to think what might be causing it.

But usually it is just ventilation problems.

Good luck!

John 8 years ago

have a damp smell in bedroom and small black mould patch appearing in the top corner where wall and ceiling meet. This is on an external wall against which a wardrobe runs almost the full length of the wall. Wonder if I need an airbrick in that wall to prevent swaeating or mould building up ?

earner 8 years ago

From your description of your damp wall, that sounds like condensation as it's at the top. Hot, moist air has risen as far as it can and hit the colder exterior wall. Try to improve airflow in the room. Open the window daily as long as you can, or fit a trickle vent on the window. An air brick would help but might be more messy to achieve.

wayne 7 years ago

every morning all my windows in the house are really misty actually wet i don't have any sign of damp problems it's winter and to cold to leave them open i also have small children will a dehumidifier solve my problem

Megan 7 years ago

We just built a basement and put a roof on top. We plan on finishing the rest later. We have condensation building up in the corners....will a dehumidifer alone rectify the problem? We also heat with a wood stove so does that affect it?

RobertClarke profile image

RobertClarke 7 years ago from Northeastern Pennsylvania

Some good advice!

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If you have a basement conversion and you have damp building up in the corners, it is likely that the damp proofing, or tanking as it is known in basement or cellar conversions, isn't working perfectly.

Dehumidifiers come in all sizes and if it's a problem that you don't want to fix properly then placing a small dehumidifier in the corner will help to eliminate the damp. Ultimately though, you should go back to the contractor that did the work and get them to fix the problem.

jordania 7 years ago

I have recently noticed black mould in one corner of my bedroom ceiling( not far from window) which seems to have spread over the last six months. I also decorated my daughters bedroom in May and over the last few months a small area of black mould has appeared on her bedroom ceiling in the very corner( my son had used this bedroom for four years before her and this never happened) I have checked her room everywhere else and apart from rould the window frames there is no other mould. We had new Fascias and guttering put on about a year and a half ago and a new extension on our house but im sure this has nothing to do with it. Any ideas or should i get someone out to have a look? My daughter is only four and has asthma.

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If there's mould near the ceiling then a dehumidifier might fix it, but you should also have a look outside. Is the gutter blocked (leaves?) or overflowing? Is it split? Is there a split drainpipe near there?

Also, are the roof tiles loose?  Water could be getting in there.

Even though you have new guttering fitted, it could have filled with leaves, or there could be a join that's come adrift.  With fascia/gutterings fixed, it's possible a tile or two might have been moved a little

You need somebody to have a look really.  Diagnosis over the Internet isn't guaranteed :)

Good luck!

Jordania 7 years ago

Many Thanks Earner, I will check all of the above out and take it from there. As it has only appeared since we have had guttering and extension done and not in the five years we have lived here previous to that i guess it has to be something to do with it!

Many Thanks again.

jjay 7 years ago

hi there hopefully some one can help i have a small cupboard where i keep my towels bedding etc and have noticed mould/ damp in the corner, it is a small cupboard and it is at the corner of my house so think it maybe coming from out side , any recommendations? thanks

timthetoolman 7 years ago

tape sliced white bread to the wall it'll absorb all damp and the starch the colour back into the wall. you can then digest it to make a real tasty snack. enjoy

pansy potter 7 years ago

Can someone please help. Live in Cyprus where buildings are typically built of concrete. Have damp patch approximately 4 to 5 feet above ground on an internal wall. Building has not been used for some time and a dehumidifier has been used constantly in the room for 7 days. However, when filler and sealant are applied within 24 hours it is frothing and peeling again. Can anybody come up with a fix please. Thanks Pam

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If the damp is right the way through the wall it can take longer than 7 days to dry it out thoroughly. Where houses have been flooded it can take several weeks/a month or more. Even just a thin layer of plaster on a wall doesn't really normally dry for 3 weeks in good conditions.

You should look to using a silicone sealant on the outside wall to stop fresh water coming in from the outside.

I'd try sealing the outside and running the dehumidifier another 7-10 days in extreme cases.

I hope you get it sorted.

pansy potter 7 years ago

Thanks for that earner. i failed to inform you that when i said internal I meant between two rooms. the lounge and a bedroom which are both adjacent to a bathroom. I have my suspicions that it is an internal leak or from the roof. Trying to get a quick fix as need to use the property from Sunday but looks like it is impossible. thanks for your information.

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Ah, if it's internal and above 5' then you need to be looking at one of:

1] An internal leak of water, especially if there is a bathroom/water pipe close by

2] Water coming from somehwere (outside or inside), that's managed to find its way to that point before showing itself. Water can travel along quite a distance in some circumstances before it can find a place to break through.

Good luck!

Hiedi  7 years ago

My landing window, which does not have an opening, has got black all around. I had UPVC windows fitted about twelve years ago and this problem appeared about four years ago. When I had the wooden frames the problem never happened. Could you give me some advice please.

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

It sounds like moisture's getting upstairs from downstairs maybe and just can't escape. Older windows were able to "breathe" a little. Get yourself some silica gel in a tub and place it on the windowsill area - you can buy it already in a tub as a product that sorts out condensation, or you can buy silica gel yourself and put it in an attractive tub.

For the existing mould, wipe it down with a strong bleach solution.

Hiedi 7 years ago

Thanks Earner I will follow your advice.

Julie 7 years ago

Have just moved in to this house which has a large flat roof extension to the rear therefore all the walls are external walls. Started to notice my sofa is growing a mould and the skirting board behind the sofa is black, there is also black patches on the skirting in all 4 corners. The window and french doors have no vents and also the airbricks under the floor on this side in particular appear to be blocked, the remaining 3 airbricks are patent. Have consulted numerous builders who have given me different advice from re rendering to replacing all gyproc walls and ceiling. This room is especially cold and there is a query over the presence of insulation in the walls and ceiling. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

My first thoughts were what the building was made of. It might have been knocked up by the previous owner and his mates, without any proper damp proof or insulation layers.

You need to think about whether the damp is coming in from the outside, or coming up from the floor. Some single storey extensions are just single skinned and have no damp proof course at all.

It is something that can only really be determined by somebody who has had a good look at the damp you've got and been able to inspect the construction of the building.

Julie 7 years ago

In response to the above: have had some exploratory work done in the meantime, no dampness noted or water inside walls/under the floor, however only 75mm of wall insulation, and no insulation material in the ceiling or under the floor, so it was concluded my problem was condensation on the skirting boards due to a lack of insulation and no insulate behind the skirting. i have been advised to take down all internal walls, ceiling and floor, insulate and reconstruct walls with a thermal plasterboard. Would also like to put a pitched roof on the extension, could this type of insulating be done from the roof if i'm going to be renewing the roof anyway??

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

A local builder would be the person to help with that query. It would depend on your budget, the current construction, your intentions with the property over the next 1-10 years, aesthetics, time, mess. Also, where you live (the climate/humidity/rainfall) and local materials available and usually used... so get three local builders to give you their opinion/quote.

Good luck! You're getting your damp problem solved it seems.

Julie 7 years ago

In response to the above many thanks for your advice, however receiving conflicting advice from builders re thermal plasterboard, some say leave up the existing walls and add the thermal plasterboard to the existing wall, others say remove the existing wall as and replace with thermal plasterboard to avoid cold air getting trapped between these areas, what would you recommend?

garryb 7 years ago

Hi there,

We moved into a new house recently and the downstairs bathroom has what looks like dark grey/black mould along one wall. The wall separates our house and nextdoor (also the downstairs bathroom) and having spoken to them they have no issues. Could you suggest any means of solving problem, I am thinking of checking the skirting board and floor boards before using a damp sealant.

Many thanks


Sandra  7 years ago


I am experencing severe black in my second bedroom. A couple of years ago I remortgaged and the surveyor said it was condentation. How do I know if that is what it is or the damp course? Can you tell me what to do as it looks awful. It appears mostly when things are against the wall.

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If it is condensation and there is black, then you can clean it off with a bleach/water mix and a damp cloth. Maybe even a soft brush if you have one handy.

Once the black has gone, then you can use either a dehumidifier or even pop down the local DIY store and see if they have any small anti-condensation silica gel packs. These tend to be a plastic container, topped with a lid containing silica gel. Simply place this where the condensation is and the silica gel will draw in moisture from the air, the moisture is then turned back into water which drops into the container, so you can pour it away. You could even have a go at making your own. You can buy bags of silica gel at most hardware/DIY stores.

I hope that helps with your damp problems.

mark 7 years ago

hi there,

i have black markings in mine and my two daughters bedrooms wall which i assume is mold.these are the only walls in the house which have the problem and are all joined to external walls.would a suitable wall insulation fix this problem that can be done internally or can you recommend something else that would? im about to decorate my bedroom but want to sort this problem first.your advise would be most greatful and hopefully cost effective



earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Mark, I'd wipe them down and clean them first, then coat the walls with a couple of coats of anti-damp paint. After that I'd decorate using paint only, wallpaper can make the problem worse, especially in older houses where the walls really need to breathe - it's also easier to clean any new mould off painted surfaces than wallpaper.

If you want it fixed, you really need to get somebody round to check what the problem is. It could be an air-brick has been blocked off (check outside), or the garden has been concreted right up to the house (you should leave a few inches gap. Maybe water collects outside, in which case it needs to have a channel cut to drain it away. Or, it could be condensation from inside the house.

Somebody needs to look around really to find out.

Dulz 7 years ago

Hi, ive just bought a flat and whilst decorating over the weekend noticed that the bedroom wall has damp with black spots. This is an external wall. The damp looks like it only goes 1' up and is only around the corner part of the room although i can see a brown marks along the bottom of the skirting of the wall which seperates the bedrrom from the kitchen. Also on the wall at a very low level there is a wave mark which has only apparead once painting the wall papered walls.

The room is next door to the kitchen and the corner where the damp is, is opposite to the washing machine in the kitchen (does that make sense?) Im thinking that there may be a leak in the washing machine which is gathering water in that corner and thus leaking through to the bedroom.

Plan of action:

1. check washing machine for leaks - if that's the problem then get that fixed and dry out the wall, cover with damp proofing and then decorate. Job done hopefully.

2. if there is no leak in Washing machine then dry out wall, damp proof and decorate and HOPE it does the job!

3. if it doesn't then im thinking its serious and is rising damp which may need a builder to do a proper job!

Any other ideas would be really helpful please.


earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Obviously I've not seen the damp wall or damp corners that you have on your walls, so guessing here... but I'd look at two things firstly:

1] You say it's near the washing machine so yes it could be a leak that is gathering water in that corner, or it could be that the drains are close by and water isn't draining away. I'd look at what's on the outside wall there, is there a downpipe, maybe a drain or grate?

2] There is a slim chance it is a bit of rising damp, maybe the damp proof course is non existent or has been breached, but if it's only damp in this corner of the house then I'd look more to number [1]

Your plan of action is good.

[1] yes.

[2] always a winner.

[3] I think you need to think about where the water could be coming from apart from the washing machine. Look at the exterior, the slope of the garden in that area, where are the downpipes and drains.

Good luck!

Dulz 7 years ago

Top Man Earner,

Gonna go get a dehumidifier today and start with that. There is a down pipe which is i think taking waste from washing machine out of the exterior wall but that's about 3' away from the actual wall with damp, but im assuming water travels before its shows itself.

Will check the washing machine this evening and let you know.

Hopefully not rising damp as couldn't afford that at the moment!

thanks again, your help has been really appreciated!

rose 7 years ago

living in our new house just over yrs ago. in da last few months we have noticed dampness in our daughters room, external walls on the ceiling, in our room external walls again dampness on the ceiling and on the back wall? just painted our sons room and he has dampness on the ceiling on an internal wall. what will i do?? who should i call to look at it??? i need to get this sorted??? tks

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If it's on the ceiling, then I might be tempted to check if the gutter's water tight and clear of debris. It could be blocking up and overflowing when it rains, or there could be a split and the water's coming down the wall.

Damp is an annoying problem, you can get black mould on all sorts of walls and you just have to either call in a good local builder to check it out, somebody you trust, or just check everything it could be bit by bit.

Rising damp couldn't get up as high as the first floor, I'd expect condensation to mostly head for the window area. For anything higher I'd be looking at: gutters, loose roofing tiles, any water leaks or trapped condensation in the roofspace

sarah 7 years ago

pls help my house seems damp everywhere, most of it is on the out side walls in all 3 bedrooms on the ceillin in the bathroom and around my fire place, i have had vents put in and also use a dehumidifer, last year i even had my roof re done in the hope that might sort it pls pls could you help as i am a single mum expecting my second child thank you for you time

earner profile image

earner 7 years ago from United Kingdom Author


It's possible the three areas you have with damp problems are caused by different things.

Damp on the outside walls: I'd be looking at whether this was rising damp. What does it look like? Can you see salts appearing on the walls? Are there any air bricks outside that are blocked up? Has the damp proof course been breached by things like building a path or patio up above the inside floor level?

For the bathroom ceiling, this sounds like steam from the hot water is rising and can't escape. The mould on the bathroom ceiling will most likely have been caused by lack of ventilation.

For the fireplace, is it an open fireplace or has it been blocked off? If a fireplace has been blocked off it needs a vent to make sure air can still get up/down the chimney. Also, has the chimney been blocked off on the outside, it really needs to be vented, so you get a throughput of air from the chimney vent in the living room all the way up the chimney to a vent to the outside.

Perhaps you can get a couple of local (trustworthy) local builders round to look at the problems for you.

I wish you luck finding the source of your damp problems and getting your damp problems solved once and for all.

earner profile image

earner 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

It's that time of year again, when mold is appearing on walls and around windows. There is condensation on the windows when you wake up, a sure sign you need to get on top of your damp and mold problems.

phil 6 years ago

ive got condensation on my windows and mould growing around my windows and in the corners of my ceilings. I have placed tubs of salt on my windowsills and i don't know what else to try other than wiping them down daily!

RM 6 years ago

Thinking of buying a house which has pebbledash rendering. When you look at the house from ground level, there are black patches around the first floor windows and an area of pebbledash that is lighter in colour. Is this damp? What should I look for when viewing it to make sure it is/isn't. Thanks

earner profile image

earner 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

I'd have a thorough look at the pebble dashing outside to see if there were any obvious cracks and ways the water could be getting in. From the inside, I'd tap the walls, see if they sounded hollow - as if the plaster had blown too while I was at it.

Water could be getting in round the actual window frame itself, or coming through from the outside. You need to pay close attention to where there are black patches that might be black mould near the windows, and think hard about how they could have got there.

Also, look outside for where the downpipes are, are they in good condition, is the water able to drain from the downpipes into the drains.

Water can travel quite a way in seemingly odd directions before causing what might be damp patches on a wall.

stacey 6 years ago

we have green mould in the bedroom in the internal wall and it feels damp it keeps coming back. its quite is an old house as welldo you think we need profesinal advise

stacey 6 years ago

i've just recently started renting an old 4 in a block flat that lay empty for a long time, the walls have all been replastered and new central heating has been fitted but it has a horrible damp smell and when you leave the house you can smell it on your hair and clothes. how do i get rid of this problem?

melanie 6 years ago

ive just moved into a rented house there has been damp issues in thbe past but my landlord paid to have a full dampcourse done inside and out but black mould still appears inside around windows on walls i also run a commercial dehumidifier also there is constantly a wet patch just on one corner of a carpet but cant see where moisture is coming from the problem is that bad there is black spores appearing on my beddin within a week i don't like to keep gettin on to my landlord as he has invested hundreds of pounds in a matter of a few weeks already i have a young baby and am worried as to the health issues surrounding mould growth wat can i do oh yes iv also used an anti mould growth solution everywhere to no avail please help

earner profile image

earner 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Melanie, if you are in the UK, then you can call your local Council. Ask to speak to the Environmental Health Department and get them to come out and look/advise. Then, you need to speak to the Department that deal with Private Tenancies to find out how to make the landlord address the problem.

Do everything in writing. Keep a paper trail.

Huw 6 years ago

Hi there I have recently moved into a flat with my brother which he has owned and been renting out to tenents for last 12 months. It is a ground floor flat with another flat above it and has no central heating, but there is a gas fire in lounge. Both of the bedrooms are next to an outside wall and appear to be the dampest areas of the whole house, with possible rising damp. My brother does have an old dehumidifier, but this has cost nearly £10 to run on the elecrtic meter in the space of just 4 days. We live in cornwall so the house is not really that cold. The house has double glasing though some of the windows are sticking and have difficulty opening and closing. The house is about 50 years old. As mentioned there appears to be some possible rising damp in the 2 bedrooms and though a mould spray has been used on the walls and I have painted my walls, it looks like is is coming back and in the main bedroom which is my brothers room there is always alot of condensation on the windows. What is the most cost effective way to minimse damp in this house. My bro is a bit strapped for cash and I am a nursing student but i am very tempted to buy a new dehumidifyer for the flat, how often would we need to use it for and how much might it cost to run each month? Also should we be regularly opening windows and having gas heating on at same time in order to try to reduce damp or dry place out. I don't think we have the funds to do any majour work to the house to prevent damp in walls but it does look like there is rising damp or damp coming in from the outside. Any tips and advice would be very helpful. I did try searching internet for advice but most people seem to be trying to get me to buy something and it was difficult just to get some straight forward advice. Many thanks for your help.

Stevederbyshire 6 years ago

Hi we suffer with dark black spots in our bedroom on the sill and the length of the bedroom ceiling about 4 inches wide it is also apparent in the spare room cupboard,we also suffer a black damp ceiling in the bathroom,Do we need an airbrick fitted some where,this problem reocures only around winter time or when it gets cold outside.Ceilings not wet when it rains,what is causing this thanks Steven

RobynPrincess 6 years ago

I wonder if you could help me, I've got damp in my bedroom. The was an extention built before we moved here 2.5 years ago and there was damp when we moved in. We fixed the guttering and thought that had fixed it but having taking off the wall paper today I can see a massive patch of it, half on an external wall and half on an internal wall. My bedroom is part of the original building (over 100yrs old I think). Out side the window and below me is the kitchen which is part of the extention and it has a flat roof. There is no damp down there nor in the room next door to mine (the bathroom). When pulling the wallpaper off today, the lining paper is coming off in chunks with no effort. There is also a really sandy mortar it seems was used instead of using plaster. It seems most of the mould is on the wallpaper and lining paper. Have you got any ideas what we can do to fix the problem or what it might be? Its obviously been here at least 2.5 years. Thank you in advance for all your help!

cunningham 6 years ago


we have black mould behind a standing cupboard - recently i have closed the vents - would this be causing the damp as i never used to have damp here?

julie 6 years ago

Hi, we have mould patches and the walls are wet inside a built in cupboared . we removed the doors hoping to make it better to no avail .The wall is an outside wall and the ceiling is black above, any advice?

alex bamford 6 years ago

we live in age where we are cocooned, thick loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, double glazing,central heating, thick fitted carpets and so on, the house or flat cannot breath, most moisture is being created within the four walls and cannot get out.

The government is telling us to top up our lofts but the roof need vents locating in the tiles . Prevoius comments have said about small vents in the top of the frame for double glazing, fireplaces that have been blocked off need venting and chimneys that have been blocked off need cowls which allow the air to circulate within the chimney. With the exception of roofing work anyone can help the situation themselves by simple deductions, hope this helps

Khogg 6 years ago

We live in an older house and recently when it rains there is a strong damp smell in the back of the house where there is a bedroom and bathroom. The smell is strongest in the morning. This only happens when it has been raining?

khogg 6 years ago

p.s we have recently had building work done to add an upstairs and shower room, and have septic tank.

sue  6 years ago

hi have a problem when it rain in our bedroom around the skirting board and where the carpet sit there is water getting in there is a window above don't know where the water is coming from it is not running down the wall that you can see and the wall is dry to feel the outside cladding is rough cast wonder if there is a sealer that you can get the carpet is rotting

godfrey_52 6 years ago

I have recently moved to a renovated (approximately 100 year old) ground floor flat. The chimney breast has been dry lines and is non-operative. Recently (even though it is summer) large damp patches have occurred. The landlord told me the damp was not coming from the chimney stack, could it be a leaking pipe or appliance from the flat above. The flat is usually left with the windows open a bit so do not think it is condensation

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated

Many Thanks

frustrated mum 6 years ago

We currently rent a property, and every morning all my windows in the house are really misty actually wet i don't have any sign of damp problems it's winter and to cold to leave them open i also have small children will a dehumidifier solve my problem - the landlord is unwilling... what can we do???

Cassandra 6 years ago

Come spring,summer autunm or winter we constantantly are having problems. We live in a ground floor flat. We have done all that is recommended, installed extractor fans in both bathroon and kitchen, keep doors closed when rooms are in use, open windows when ppossible etc etc. However, we are still getting patches on the walls and ceilings, like a green fur on some furniture surfaces and a white fur on other furniture. When you walk in the front door you can feel and smell the damp in the air. We have had to throw out some furniture due to damage. On wall photos damp spots appear. Please help, just don't know what to do next.

Anna  6 years ago


We live in a first floor flat and in the corner of our bedroom behind a chest of drawers is a lot of grey/black mould, probably coming up 2 ft up from the skirting board. I've tried bleaching it but it doesn't come off completely and comes back. The corner is on 2 outside walls and i've noticed from outside there's 2 holes in the wall - i think for overflow from the bathroom. Do you think these need investigating?

liam 6 years ago

i have damp all the way round my living room about 2 foot high its only on the inside walls help

6 years ago

In a first floor flat with bad damp in one very small bedroom. All of the damp patches on the wall are in the pattern of the breeze blocks behind them- is this structural or is it something that we are doing wrong? I suffer from asthma and my eyes are always really sticky in the morning, so I'm looking for a quick but effective solution.

Rachel 6 years ago

I have a very bad damp problem in my house. As its an old house it doesn't have a damp course. My basement is very damp and I think this is where the problem has arisen from. I have mould problems on my living room walls which is above the basement. One wall has black mould on it which is an outside wall. The other wall has a tide mark about 1 meter high with white mould on it, which is also an outside wall. I have recently found white furry mould in my bedroom which is above the living room and I've started to feel ill so I think the mould is affecting my health. Please could someone give me some advice on what to do, as I do not have the money to get a professional in... thanks!

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earner 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

It's unfortunate that you can't afford a pro as only a pro, with local knowledge and experience, will be able to tell you exactly why you have the damp.

I am therefore only guessing the following:

Without a DPC, the tide mark about 1 metre high is most probably rising damp. The white line is the salts coming out. A DPC injection might help with this.

The black mould is most likely condensation from inside your house (your washing drying, your vegetables boiling, your bath/shower steam), all the moistness that human living produces has to find its way out. If it can't get out then it settles in corners and on the outside walls as it heads for the coldest parts of the room. Trapped there, the mould can grow.

Either open the windows, get a dehumidifier, or keep on top of wiping the wet walls down religiously.

White furry mould in your bedroom, at the first floor level, can't be rising damp, which would never rise that far. It could be from your breathing when you're asleep. A human breathes out 1 litre of water and sweat in a night.

Ventilating as much as you can is key. A dehumidifier helps with this.

Yes, it will be affecting your health as mould spores are in the air.

I hope you get your damp problems sorted out fast.

Luke 6 years ago


i have recently moved into a victorian end terrace. Our external side wall has had another wall built against it that belongs to a neighbour. The wall is now discoloured on the outside and you can literally feel damp on the inside up to about 3ft. Can something be done to the wall or would removing it be a resolution?

dawn 5 years ago

when i moved into my house i discovered some damp in the bedroom and i managed to solve that by glossing the wall then painting over that with preffered colours, i have now got damp nall at the top of my walls on my landing a little bits in my kitchen but i have done what i did with the bedroom and it has come back through here don't know why but i have ashma and damp isn't doing me any good any ideas?

allison 5 years ago

can somebody plz give me some advice iv had damptreated in my daughters bedroom twice now and it keepscomeing back.ijust don't nowhat to do next

Rachel 5 years ago

Hi last year I noticed we had "damp" in the corner of our living room which is on an external wall so I got the pros in and they chopped off all the plaster and skirting and injected the walls . One year on it's back ! Also I've noticed tonight in the bedroom corner which is also on an external wall the wallpaper is damp in the corner also in my daughters room around the sill of the window up the plaster /wallpaper there is black mould growing , then in the living room corner and all up the bathroom corner , the bathroom I can defiantly put it down to condensation but in the bedroom and two points in the living room I'm at a loss to understand . Yeah my house is cold and I do have the radiators on in the morning fir an hour or so and on a night fir a few hours . I also have fully double glazing and the mould just has a party in all the

windows in the house . I only open the windows in warm weather but how do I know if it's damp or condensation ? It all seems to be on Walls which are external , it's not large amounts like right up the Walls but it bad enough fir me to take action and really worry please help as it's just one thing after another with this house ... That jack built ! ;-/ advice really appreciated :-)

nicjand 5 years ago

hi, please help , in the mornig every window of my house is misted up and needs wiping(even the glass in the front door) and pools of water on the inside window sill, in my bedroom there is a large area of damp ,i have stripped the wallpaper and bleached the wall, every morning i have to wipe the wall as it is soaking wet , i keep the window open slightly, use a dehumidifer , extractor fan in kitchen have a condensor dryer , what else can i do to stop this? i cannot decorate until the damp has been sorted ,please any advice

anthony 5 years ago

i have had a problem with dampness for well over a year now damp patches in corners of bedrooms and corner of sittingroom and also dampness in lower walls in bedrooms basically it only occours in colder months its a newish house and have double glazing i honestly think its hot air meeting the cold parts of the room and very bad ventilation so i wiped down the damp patches with a mould a mildew remover (tescos) and invested in a dehumidifier seems to be keeping it at bay i think the lower damp patches in the bedroom are down to bad insulation in cavity

nikki 5 years ago

just bought a house that was repossessed and had to be emptied of bin bags that were piled high in most rooms the curtains had been drawn for 8 years and no windows open.the house is a 1920rendered semi ajoining us with no dpc, the bottom bricks need repointing but the mortar is mainly black ash and there is damp on the north facing wall but im hoping that repointing and ventilation will be sufficient after the plaster has been removered and allowed to dry out but i want advising and how to point up to ash the windows are full of condensation at the moment but we are still removing blown plaster.

Niall 5 years ago

I have recently noticed a brown patch forming in my bedroom on an internal wall! I live on the 4th/top floor of an old german block! The wall is said to be an unused chimney pipe! I put stain paint on it 4 months ago and covered it with a poster! Now it's the size of the poster, black and sweating! Would like to know if there is anything I can do considering it's an unused chimney! If I use the dehumidifier surely the problem will come back next year! My friend had an agency put a dehumidifier in his room for a week in a different house with less severe stain and moulding, but then he had his walls ripped and reinstalled anyway! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you earner!

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earner 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

When a chimney is blocked off, it will become very damp if there's no ventilation. If you have a hearth in your room, then try to drill a vent into the roof of the hearth (where you can't see it).

You have to somehow get that chimney vented.

If you have no hearth, then the only way is to drill into the chimney and fit a vent. Obviously this should only be done if none of the other fireplaces are active and using that chimney.

Miss S Taylor 5 years ago

Hi I hope u can help me, Ive been in my house which is concrete about 7 months now. In the upstairs bedroom on the external wall there is black mould and wetness from the skirting board for about 14" in height. This is also at the back of the bed where the pillows are (also and external wall) and is soaking the pillows and the bedding down the side of the bed. I hve had a surveyor out from my local authority and they have told me it is condensation. I also have the same problem in the room underneath this bedroom with the black mould and water droplets clearly showing. I have no central heating and my son has asthma so am concerned that this is damp and im being fobbed off with condensation. My house is covered in pebble dash so am wondering if this is only on the outside wall does my externa wall need re sealing? Also this problem does not occur anywhere else in the house. These are the two smallest rooms in the house and i was told to move the bed out from the wall but this is impossible as there is only 12" of walkway. Please help im at my wits end and am deeply concened for my sons health. (both wall in the bedroom are wallpapered but the room downstairs is painted). Any help would be appreciated. Miss Taylor

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earner 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

You need to look outside really - what's there? Is there a drainpipe? Is the wall cracked? As it's pebble-dashed it can be hard to track down if there's a crack, or if the render's "blown". You'd need to get a builder up there with a ladder to look and tap around, unless you feel up to doing that - get up there and press the render, see if it moves.

A de-humidifier would sort the problem out internally though, as well as ease the asthma.

Charlie 5 years ago

It has been confirmed we have rising damp and the landlord is taking his time to fix the problem......

In the mean time can you please advise what to do about the heating, we have the basement and the ground floor of the house it is upside down living so the bedrooms are downstairs. It can be quite cold downstairs, as its quite large and airy. I know if you have damp you should ventilate the area but should you also try to keep it warm too? Any advice would be great as it has been like this now for over a year and i am worrying about the health implications....

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earner 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Charlie, if you get in touch with the Environmental Health Officer at your local council, they will come out to do an assessment and if they think it's bad enough they'll write to the landlord, forcing him to do the work. If he fails to do the work, they even have the power to do it for him and bill him, if he doesn't pay they can put a charging order on his house so if/when he sells it they get paid.

It's worthwhile getting a dehumidifier in, in the meantime. It'll dry out the air and the drier air will be cheaper to warm.

It does need to be warm and dry.

David D 5 years ago

What a great thread. Nearly every damp scenario covered with good advice and tips. Given me the confidence to tackle my damp problem in my bathroom. Cheers D

Alison 5 years ago

We have lived in our flat for 3 years, it was a formermly used for manufacturing purposes and was build in the 1920s. Our flat is on the top floor and seems out of all the flats to had suffered the worst from damp. The flat is flat roofed and to try and help air flow the windows were fitted with vents around 18 months ago. This has lightly helped the problem but during the winter the window sills have large pools of water and mould builds up around the top pf the window, behind the back of a wardrobe (external wall). We leave one of the bedroom windows open during the day and night even whens its cold but when we wake up the morning this is when the mositure has built up in the lounge and two bedrooms.

have treated the mould and had the room repainted but the ,ould came back. We wandered that a solution would be to install another radiator as the bedroom is quite big and only has one. The bedrrom also has a door going out to the balcony nd we wander if this has not been installed properly. Could a breeze block help with the air flow. We have broughta dehumidifier which does help and when we have it on fills up quite quickly. People have said that the building needs to settle and this is quite common with new builds but some advice of other measures we can do will be very much appreciated.

kerri 5 years ago


we have this problem with the skirting boards in one bedroom, and every morning when we have a frost the skirtings are wet, in patches...... the walls and roof and floor are dry, but the skirting boards get bad depending on the amount of frost that day. they usually dry out by night time but this is only in winter, no leaks in summer or in the rain.......

do you know why this would be and how to go about fixing it??

Kelly 5 years ago

Hi, I'm needing advice about dealing with damp while on holidays. Im going away for 3 months and need a product that does not need replenishing or emptying ever month. Im living in an area that can have a lot of rain and damp problems and don't want to come home to mould. Thanks.

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earner 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

You can buy a self-draining dehumidifier - many portable dehumidifiers will come with a hose, enabling you to set them up as a self-draining dehumidifier, so you just need to ensure the one you buy does this.

The hose needs to be hooked into the drainage system, so your dehumidifier will need to be close to a sink perhaps - with the hose able to reach the sink.

5 years ago

have major issue under front room window with damp that the wall foams and has bloack damp there that the paints coming off the wall i clean it weekly and have tried endless amounts wall sealer and to prevent it but still returns within a week of painting ? HELP

chez 5 years ago

hi ive been in my proprerty for near 10 years an for the last 8 months a horrible smell has developed in my small childrens bedroom. i ventilate the room all through the day as much as i can but come the evening the smell is there this room has become unusable as my children want sleep in there as it smells there is no visual signs of mold in there. however the smell has a damp like rotting smell. i have had the loft area checked and no signs of damp was present this room is located next to the bathroom where there is a shower located on the wall closes to the bedroom and i had some issues with bath sealent which has been removed and redone by housing as mould was forming on it so im wondering if there is damp in walls or under floor could you offer some advice please thanks

ali m m 5 years ago

want 2 get a dehumidifier , 2 get rid of damp, featur wall has wallpaper, would the dehumidifier peal off wall paper

joe 5 years ago

my wife uses a steam iron in the living room, even when we open the windows , all the windows are steamed up, wallpaper is starting to peal, becouze of damp, bought anti damp paint , and put wall paper back up, is it best to get a dehumidifier and put it on when wife is ironing, would that help.,..

terry 5 years ago

getting damp patches around the wall sockets, do use a steam iron, will a dehumidifiar help....wen i use a steam iron..

Sonja 5 years ago

Help! Our townhouse was damaged in the Apr 27th tornado. Our repairs were made and we were able to remain in our home. Unfortunately the townhouse next door attached to us is in foreclosure and has filled with mold in almost every single room. Some rooms have mold 1/4 o the way up the walls. The townhouse has recently been tarped by the mortgage co while they are working on insurance settlemen ts. That has made it worse, creating a giant mold oven with temps over 100 here in Alabama! We went inside and had someone take samples. We have confirmed it is black mold, waiting on official paperwork from lab. Although we haven't seen any black spots on our walls, we know there is mold in the air (we did 2 petri dish tests and have sent it off to find out what kind of mold it is. My questions are 1. Is is safe to remain here until we see any spots on our walls. 2. Should we be using dehumdifiers 3. If we have to move out, is our furniture, clothing etc safe to use, should it be cleaned? We have a 1 yr old and the petri dish with the most/worst mold growth was from his room. It will be weeks (at least) or months befre something is done about next door.. we are at a loss as to what to do. Our insurance is taking the stand that they can't do anything until after the mold ha s infected our home. By then it will be too late.Thanksfor your help.

jane 5 years ago

is it worth switching dehumdifier on , then off after using a steam iron

Teresa wilkinson 5 years ago

I have been infomed that my cavity wall insulation is damp what do i need to do to rectify the problem and what are the costs.

Cathy 5 years ago

I'm thinking of buying an old large house in Lebanon.

There is no central heating and the house has been virtually abandoned for years, meaning that 'ventilation only comes from the broken windows!!!

The property could therefore be riddled with damp.

If we bought it and fixed all the windows and installed central heating, could the house dry-out by itself or with the assistance of de-humidifiers?

Glen 5 years ago

We have a small (7'W x 5'D x 6'H) room in our basement that is directly under our front entrance step. This room has a small entrance and I believe it was used as a root cellar years ago. There is some mildew/mold growing on the roof area of the exterior wall. I'm wondering if cleaning the walls and using a concrete sealant paint (along with a dehumififier) will help to alleviate this issue?

Jose More 5 years ago

I am extremely curious as to what happens in Venice, Italy, to the houses facing the canals. Aren't they suffering from mold problems?, how do they cope with humidity?

L Stewart 5 years ago

My little boys room has a very damp smell to it, particularly on one side of the room which backs onto a bathroom. The skirtings are very old and have a few gaps...however there is no mildew or mould that I can see, just a very old damp smell. Could you please give me some advise on how to remove it, as worried about health implications. Thanks!

janet thompson 5 years ago

We have just purchased a bungalow in Denmark and we have noticed that the fireplace was wet at its base and a crack has appeared. Checking with a damp meter we found the levels to be very high. The foundations when checked are also wet and we have been told that the house was built on slagger and the foundations may have fractured . What can we do about this problem please? Is it possible to do a localised repair or do we need to tank the entire house? Help

K Matthews 5 years ago

Hi Guys,

we have a damp patch on the front of our chimney breast at the bottom. Any ideas how to get rid and stop the problem happening again?

sara mellor 5 years ago

plz can some one help ,just recently the property im renting has got a bad case of mould its in my kitchen cuboards along the bottom of the down stairs walls on doors on my pictures and furniture also on my coat that hangs on the back of my bedroom door and today i got my suede booots out the built in wardrobe and there green with mould ,the air vents in the house iv noticed have been plastered over or sealed up ,what can i do

Lisa E. 5 years ago

My bed is directly against the wall underneath the window. To the far right of the window I have extensive black mold that has spread onto my mattress. My health has serious declined in the past 3 years and I am now on disability. Several of the health conditions concern my brain. I started having seizures, and last year I had a stroke at 39.I have all the symptoms that were previous described. I am on disability so an expert is out of the question. Would someone please advise.

leah 5 years ago

hi well my radiator was leaking for about4 months without me seeing it... well it was behind the sofa!! the drips of water were running down the pipe into the wall and now the wall stinks and making my flat smell really bad.... any advice ???? thanks

April 5 years ago

Hi, we moved into our flat 4months ago and have a bad mould problem. All our furniture and clothing is going mouldy, even items that are stored away in cupboards and draws. We had our letting agent in and they said it was due to a condensation problem as the flat had never been occupied by more than one person at a time before and there are two of us in it now. Could this be so? There is more than one type of mould, some is thick and green, other is yellow and powdery. I have asthma and have had two chest infections since moving into the property so am worried it could be affecting my health

JOY KORUS 5 years ago

i Live in a mobile home 12 x 65. Had a new roof put on about 4 yrs. ago. I have water stains coming down my exterior kitchen wall located at one end of the home. There was a clogged gutter over this wall wich I Just had it removed and hope this is the problem altho I Looks like the shingles on the edge are raised up ofo the roof are raised up perhaps due to last winters snow and ice buildup. Iam disabled and can't afford too much but is there something my son could do to fix these shingles now ? Thank you so much for your assistance


Jenny 5 years ago

I have damp all around my bedroom window. I have double glazed windows but the house I live in is old and was actually vacant for about 7 years before I moved in. I never noticed the problem before but as soon as I moved in I decorated anyway. I'm wondering if there could be a problem with the brickwork outside since it seems there's a few cracks. It's really horrible black spots all over the wall where the window is, I've used bleach and scrubbed it and then used a dmap proof paint but the lack spots have come back with avengance. I don't know what to do

Sam D 4 years ago

I stumbled across this site whilst looking for a particular product to alleviate my slight damp problem and ended up reading all the horror stories posted. Although I currently don't need information I am amazed that nobody seems to have thanked 'Earner' for all the superb, impartial (and free!!) advice given. So, on behalf of everyone, thank you, Earner.

joedav18 4 years ago

Help! I have started having damp mould spots on things in my house. Its not a specific rooms that this is happening but most of them in small ways. In one room there was no damp on walls but I was having mould spots on my clothes in my wardrobe and my shoes hat were out on a stand in the room were all green and mouldy! I just found the same spots on the back of a dvd cabinet that is in my living room, this is next to the dividing wall between me and my neighbour. I constantly have my dehumidifier on which I empty every day, plus my windows are always wet in the mornings. I also am fed up of wiping away what seams to be like black powderish stuff off one of my walls. I really don't know what to do about it and fed up of my house smelling fousty (only on certain days though?) do you know what is causing this please?

lee 4 years ago

until recently we had solid fuel central heating (last winter). within a month of not using the fire i noticed the chimney stack was wet below the roof line to the point the mortar was weeping from the chimney .

for the remainder of the cold season( april time ).

i left a dehumidifier in the loft close to the chimney running constantly. this last summer i have had the chimney repointed and reflashed plus all roof tiles repaired. been in loft today and chimney stack is wet again plus surrounding timbers .chimney is capped at top ,vented at bottom ,even had silicon painted on chimney stack to avoid moisture been pulled through.

went back into loft and knocked a brick out of chimney stack in the hopes it will help vent it better. what else can i do besides remove the stack . not an easy feat 7 foot high by nearly same across .

Sheree 4 years ago

Hi I live in a ground floor flat and have been experiencing damp issue for the last 5 years I have black mold all along my 2 outside walls of the flat and more so on 1 outside wall which covers the 2 bedrooms I had work carried out around the outside external walls where they put cladding up ( this is where they put polystyrene on the inside of the external Walls then put plasterboard on top but this hasn't solved the problem it has made the problem worse I get puddles of water on the floor in the corners I did originally have carpets down but they went moldy with in 8 months of having the job done I now have laminating flooring but this isn't helping I have had anti fungal mold paint put on the Walls but it's still coming back I have had to throw furniture,beds ,carpets, wardrobes, toys, bags, out because of this my accommodation is a council property so they have carried out the work

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earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Sheree

That sounds awful. You really need to get those guys back round to look at the cladding. It sounds, without seeing it, as if the damp proof course has been breached (if there was one). Check outside and see if you can clear any debris away from the wall - at this time of year you can get a build up of damp and wet leaves. Clear everything away from the wall and, if you can, dig down a few inches (4-6"). What you're trying to do is ensure that nothing on the ground, or the ground itself, are higher than where the damp proof course might be. When I say dig it out, anything is better than nothing - and you can start by trying a channel that's just a few inches wide.

On the inside, however, getting a dehumidifier will clear the air and keep your interior dry - but you need to look externally for sources of damp penetration.

Good luck!

Bryony 4 years ago


I have a recurrent problem with a little damp patch just outside my bathroom. The bathroom is to the right of the damp patch and the door opens so that the you would see the patch on your right on the same wall as the door as you left. To the left of the damp patch is a radiator. The patch is no more than about 50cm wide and high and goes from skirting to a hip high dado rail. The wall is a single skin internal brick wall which is above the basement and the washing machine and condensing boiler are in the basement to the side of the wall (with a gap between them and it). The other side of the wall in the basement is completely dry.

So far I have done the following:

1) Taken tiles of the wall in the bathroom for the shower and fixed a small leak in a pipe

2) determined that no pipes are contained within this part of wall

3) knocked the plaster off the wall to allow it to dry out - it was sodden. After letting it dry out for a couple of months, which seemed to be successful, I replastered.

4) Replaced the old radiator with new incase it was causing the problem

The patch has now returned some 8 months later and these are the solutions I have been given:

1) Its rising damp so I need to install a damp proof course - I laughed at this

2) There is a pipe which runs from my basement, over my ceiling and into the flat above which has a leak - this seemed most likely, but has now been dismissed by my builder

3) Suggested that I seal the bathroom tiles (stone) as they let moisture through to the wall - they are already sealed

4) Suggested that I seal the floor and edges of the tiles with clear sealant - they are already grouted

5) My uncle suggested it could be condensation as the air moisture has nowhere to go (the stairs are right next to the radiator) - maybe from either the bathroom or the washing machine / condensing drier downstairs?

I have suggested that we knock the plaster off again, allow the wall to dry out, and then see when the walls get worse - they are currently causing the plaster to swell which pushes on the bathroom doorframe, making it hard to shut.

I would really appreciate some advice, or equally, what kind of professional should I be approaching as obviously the damp guys will tell you what most benefits their business!

Ceyni 4 years ago

Hi, my husband and I are thinking about buying this house its been sitting for 2 years but I went back to see it again we have seen wet patches with grey marks in the living room walls. I have read enough to know its mould. But I don't know how serious it has become. My question is can I fix it by taking precautions and take down the drywalled to find the source??

Beth 4 years ago

We have condensation that builds up on our basement walls ONLY in the 4 corners. Each year we get black mold. Now my family is sick a lot! We do have a dehumidifier down there. The house is 12 years old. I have decided to finish off the basement to see if this helps. My fear is the mold will grow behind the walls. Do you know if there is insulation up and walls if this will stop the condensation? Or will it build up behind that drywall? Do you know what type of beerier I should use. I have heard plastic then insulation. We are planning on heating the area, and buying a dehumidifier that is hooked on to our furnace. Thank you!

David Orr 4 years ago

Have the bottown third of my wall covered in dark mould from damp, also appearing in the top corner of wall aswell (this wall is actually opposite the wall with teh window) ive tried leaving teh window open and even tried the tubs of dehumilators but nothing seems to work. any help wud be great! i live in a block of 4 apartments and im the bottom one.

Christ 4 years ago

I pulled the air vent from the ceiling and found a build up of black colored mold. Is this dangerous and should I clean it? I have heard that if you do not disturb mold, you may be better off. Also, when I came home yesterday the tiles on my bathroom floor (same room as air vent mold) was very damp, almost wet. Please help!

joy 4 years ago

i need help i have noticed about two months ago that there was a small patch of dampness in the ceiling but withing that strech of time it has got black and has spread over alot of the seiling and im renting the house at the moment. is there any way that i can clean it up please help

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earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Joy

If you have a black patch of damp on the ceiling that is spreading, it might be the roof leaking or gutters or a drain - try to take a look outside to see if that might be possible.

Ask your landlord to take a look, in case he needs to get the roof/gutters/drains checked as that's the fabric of the building and is the landlord's job to fix.

Only once the source of the problem is fixed should you really clean up the black ceiling, otherwise it'll just keep coming back,

brian 4 years ago

in past years have had damp in my bedroom between roof and wall.This year i have replastered the bedroom bought a dehumidifier(which runs 10 hours a day every day)i have bought new insuklation and fitted it in the loft, i have checked the gutters and cleaned where nessessary.All been good until last week and now im starting to get damp through in the same places. Any ideas what to do next?

michelle 4 years ago

I moved into a 1st floor flat in september, but am now experiencing black mould around most of the windows at the bottom corners and the surrounding walls. There is no window in the kitchen, but i always use the extractor fan. My baby's room is affected the most, with white fur like mould growing on backs of furniture and anything that touches the external wall. We get quite a lot of condensation on the windows, so is that the cause? Please help!

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earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi michelle

The extractor fan in your kitchen's probably not able to remove all of the moisture in the air - which is then finding the coldest parts of your home: external walls and window areas.

I'd guess that it is condensation you're experiencing with the black mould around most of the windows at the bottom corners.

It really is worth your while getting a dehumidifier, especially as you have the health of a baby to consider and protect.

michelle 4 years ago

thank you for replying to my last post. I am now looking into getting a dehumidifier. Thank you for your advice on this matter.

4 years ago


We are students and moved into our rented house in September, we used to vent the house lots when it was cooler outside but when it got cold outside we kept our hosue sealed up, this we have noticed has caused condensation and mould, espically as we have to dry our clothes on an airer in our rooms. Since we have been ventilating the house, however receiving mixed messages on how long to ventilate the house during day and evening? as some the windows do not have vents within them so having open slightly is great but in evening its gets cold, and its damp outside, so will this help? How long would you recommend to ventilate a house for during day? or week?

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earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi C

There is no set amount of time to ventilate a house - it varies depending on how much moisture is in the air inside and how much outside, as well as the temperature and the airflow rate.

If you're getting mould etc, then it's a clear indication you're not doing it enough - and if you can't open the windows more/more often, then you should just bite the bullet and invest in a dehumidifier.

Buying a dehumidifier is an investment that works on many levels, not just for how to get rid of damp:

[1] you'll get rid of the mould [2] you might save your favourite/expensive jacket from being ruined over the winter [3] choose a small one and you'll have it for life [4] you can use it instead of a tumble drier, saving you a fortune on buying one of those in the future too.

You really can't lose with dehumidifiers - and they're so much smaller, lighter and cheaper nowadays than just a few years back.

At lease buying a dehumidifier is an easy solution to the "how to get rid of damp" question - and something that is in your control, as a tenant.

scott 4 years ago

we have small patches of mold showing around our window and were the wall meets the ceiling have tried anti damp paint before decorating and installed two air bricks however the mold has returned how can we prevent this help please thanks

maria 4 years ago

hi,i live in an end terrace and the last 6 months there has been black spots on bathroom ceiling i keep washing them of with bleach but they keep coming back ive looked in loft but nothing going on there and ive scraped paint off ceiling and nothing under paint,i keep window open,ive tried putting a damp sealing spray on but it still came back,should i put a dehumidifier in there or what do you suggest,thank you

jane 4 years ago

geting damp patches , n windows get steamed up, wen using steam iron, is it worth getting dihumidifiar wen ironog wid steam iron ...

Lesleyanne 4 years ago

Hi earner I Jst moved into a council house in June I'm on the bottom floor of a 4 in a block under the house is a 10 foot drop whitch has about 3 foot of water in it all my wall paper has started coming off and all my furniture has got black and blue powders of mould all over it there is mould on some Walls the windows also have realy bad condinsation on them the council have said it's not rising damp but I would b grateful for your opinion thanks

hayley elgood , london 4 years ago

hi i have great ventilation in my property withh all tricle vents open , and also two big vent axias recently installed . I am still however getting mould ( black in color ) in the bottom corner where the there are two outside walls . Can you please advise , as i have had the council around . They have said it is down to my lifestyle that i have mould . I have three kids all under 5 two just been diagnosed with astma and one of them also have eye problems now possibly due to mould - please advise earner thanks

Sue 4 years ago

Why is my back and front door panels and the glass always wet through

matt 4 years ago

I have a 1 year old home built to tight and the we have humidity all over the windows, carpets and ruining the cabinets. we have had Two sets of cabinets installed and the problem still is occuring. We had a in line dehumidifier installed and the problem still is occuring. We are getting ready to install a new set of cabinets and really don't want to ruin those. I have read many blogs and issues other people have had. with the energy star home i have i believe this is an air stack issue. or stale air. Would a fresh air intake solve this issue.

Dave 4 years ago

Replaced aluminium siding with vinyl now have mood in bedrooms. Is this from improper siding or could it be from when basement flooded

garry corbally 4 years ago

hi , i have noticed a yellow almost foam type of what i believe to be "damp" growing out from the back of the skirting boards in our detached games room .

it seems to be growing spreading around the skirting into anything that's nearby.?? i have removed a speaker and a box that was almost consumed or covered in this growth

any thoughts on this

branderz profile image

branderz 4 years ago from Central New York

My bedroom is above the garage, there are no apparent leaks in the garage however and our house doesn't have a basement. My window in my bedroom leaks and I have found mold there, so I am pretty sure this is the source. I recently noticed black mold behind my bed also (which is on the adjacent wall to the window). I wasn't sure that the two were connected until I noticed drip marks coming down my wall above my bed. I then noticed some condensation on the crease of the wall and the ceiling above my bed, there doesn't appear to be any outside leaks except from my window, do you think a dehumidifier and some silica gel around the window frame will fix the problem?

Jackie 4 years ago

HI, let me start by saying that my bedroom and livingroom are built on a cement slab. Last winter and now this winter we have moisture building on the floors but only by the outside walls....what can be causing this?

earner profile image

earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi lesleyanne

If I were you I'd write to the Council (write, not telephone) and point out to themm that there is 3' of water under the floor and that this will lead to structural problems in the house.

I strongly suspect your problem is due to the water under the building and it's something you should pursue in writing, putting the emphasis on the structure of the building rather than your own interior issues.

Good luck!

Anne 4 years ago

My daughter has just moved into a rented house which was empty for over a year. Since moving in last week she has had the central heating on and now in the bedroom there are black marks appearing through the wallpaper on all the walls, Will a dehumidifier solve this problem?

jane 4 years ago

getting damp patches , n windows get steamed up, wen using steam iron, is it worth getting dihumidifiar wen ironing wid steam iron ...n front window aabove skirting has damp rising , please help

rosie 4 years ago

Hi there,

I rent an old damp house & ive started using a dehumidifier over the last month & its making a big difference, sucking up over a pint a day. However i am away for 2 weeks soon, the house will be empty, i will leave heating on low, but should i leave dehumidifier on as well?.

Many thanks for your time

Greg 4 years ago

Hi. I live in a small apartment which certainly lacks ventilation, given it's so cold outside it's not very viable to simply have the windows open and as my Landlord (I rent this apartment privately) refuses to pay the costs of running a dehumidifier (I simply can't afford to do that, and would rather not anyway since I'd hear it constantly) I'm not sure what I can do.

I leave the window open when the shower is in use, that solves the issue in the bathroom for the most part. I leave the window open for a good 30 minutes or so with the door shut after use.

I have damp upstairs in the bedroom and all along the stairs leading up to the bedroom though, also on the opposite side near my desk. I'm having to constantly wipe the moisture off as it gets extremely wet.

Really not sure what to do here, would simply move flats but not an option at the moment. Any advice? :)

Jaycee 4 years ago

Hi There there appears to be a damp smell in my daughters room which is seperated from the bathroom by a wall. Our wall is made of hollow plasterboard and i suspect it is where water from the recently installed shower is hitting the wall.

We are taking preventative steps to avoid the wall getting wet in the future but can you advise us on the best way to dry the wall and get rid of the moldy smell?

Jaycee 4 years ago

P.S. thank you for this information i have learned so much from you already :)

Ken 4 years ago

I had cavity wall insulation installed last year.I have now discovered that water has been penetrating due to faulty sealing around one of my windows upstairs.The water has been running down the wall and has started dripping onto the downstairs window sill.

As this has just happened,there is no sign of dampness but I am worried that this will happen eventually.

Is there anything I can do to lessen the chance of this happening? I have a good humidifier and wondered if it would do any good putting it near the wall where this has happened.

Any advice will be very welcome.

Thank you.

kelly 4 years ago

I have recently bought an end of terrace house and have been getting a lot of condensation on my windows and mould on exterior walls. I have used a mould remover to remove the mould and am using a de humidifier. it seems to reduce the consensation a little bit but I am still getting damp clothes in the wardrobe and on the duvet. there is a drain about a metre from my front door which seems to be blocked. could this be causing it or could i need a damp proof course or new windows? please advise

leah 4 years ago

I have recently moved into a house from an apartment, I noticed that my couches always feel wet... And when I sit on them, they leave actual water marks on my clothes. I can't have company because I don't have anywhere for them to sir with out being saturated. Please help me keep my house dry... Idk what I can to do rectify the problem. Please help :(

Julia456 4 years ago


Smell of damp plaster whenever I shower-extractor used on every occasion.Shower cubicle installed when bathroom renovated approx 10 years ago-shower replaced approx 9 months ago.

Thank you.

hi 4 years ago

my wife uses a steam iron in the living room, even when we open the windows , all the windows are steamed up, wallpaper is starting to peal, becouze of damp, bought anti damp paint , and put wall paper back up, is it best to get a dehumidifier and put it on when wife is ironing, would that help.,..

sarah 4 years ago

My loft is cold and wet but has insulation damp n mould agen in built in wardrobe at side of property been damp proofed again and air vent put it cwi has been dun in house but dnt knw how lng ago damp n mould round house windows and walls have heatin on a timer but 5 mins after house really cold again help

sarahedge 4 years ago from crewe

Please help im in a council house have damp in house some of been damp proofed but bk again. Cold attic was told its insulated. Costin me a fortune in heating and the house is stil very cold and been told the house has cwi already im tryin everythng but nt workin help

george 4 years ago

Have some ledge in basement where water comes in should I put in a sump pump under concrete or just run a small 2 or 3 inch break in concrete so water can run to a sump pump? help me out please

myself46 4 years ago

Hi I have a single story extention to the side and corner of my house. the bedroom that is above this corner has suffered with damp for a long time it was black sometimes green. Have now redecorated and used a kitchen paint to help with condensation but now the external corner is soaking wet and level with the bed on both outside walls is wet too. Could it be because not appropriate damp course fitted when extension was attached to house? We have a lot of snow sitting on roof at moment. I am worried about my son sleeping in this room. Can anyone help please?

Jodie 4 years ago

Hi, I have just bought a 1901 house. One of the outside walls has damp. It is showing as black mould in the bedrooms. Rising from the bottom to the top of the ceiling. We also have cold spots in the kitchen and fine white fluffy mould if we put any furniture against the kitchen wall. We have a dehumidifier but doesn't seem to be doing anything noticeable. Do we need to treat the outside wall if guttering, no loose tiles etc. Plus who are the people to contact? Any help would be appreciated.

Helen 4 years ago

Hello, I am at a loss with my kitchen. I have used a sealant on the walls and bought a dehumidifier but the colder it is outide the wetter the kitchen walls are - literally soaking on a very cold day. The dehumidifier doesn't collect much water at all. Ive had to take down cupboards and throw them because of the damp. I want to sort the kitchen out but cant do anything until I sort the damp out. Do you have any ideas please. thanx

Angie Dobson 4 years ago

i have a couple of spots in my house where the paint has bubbled up ? Is this the start of damp. The outside of the house has not yet been sealed as it's a new house. If I seal the house will it be okay then ? Do i still need to buy a de-humidifiyer ? Then do a sand over the spots and then re-paint ? Can you help me please ?

Many thanks


earner profile image

earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

I am not sure what you mean by sealed - surely it should have been sealed before you painted the inside!

In any case, if the exterior is not sealed, then it is highly likely that you have damp that has come through the wall - although I'd also question how it's managed to bridge any cavity wall.

The best course of action would be: seal the outside, get a dehumidifier into the room for 2-3 weeks as you need to thoroughly dry out all the structure between the exterior and interior. Then rub down and repaint.

If you redecorate before the wall is 100% dry and all moisture's been removed, then it'd only bubble up again.

iain wilkinson 4 years ago

I have black mould under my bay window in the bedroom i have tried many things but it still comes back only happens in winter can you help

earner profile image

earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If it's black mould under a bay window in the bedroom, then it's most likely to be condensation - caused by the moisture from your breathing. You breathe out about 1 litre (nearly 2 pints) of water overnight - this moisture will go towards the coldest part of the room (the window and exterior wall) and turn back into water. This water will cause the black mould if it's not cleared away.

If you're short of cash, then make sure you wipe down that area EVERY morning - and if you can't afford a dehumidifier right now then look into getting some silica gel crystals to collect the condensation.

Julie 4 years ago

My daughter lives in a ground floor block of flats, she has noticed damp running under her

Bedroom window and to the side of it. They are very old flats do you know what it could be caused from it is an external wall.

Sophie 4 years ago

Hello. I have problems with damp. ive had my house two years. When we took our dining room floor up the concrete was soaking wet, the previous owners had concreted against the holes for the DPC outside, so we had that dug out and had a dehumidifier in the room for 2 weeks unitl it was bone dry. Now I have noticed mould appearing around the edges of our flooring! what could this be? ALSO, I have damp in my bedroom (not above the dining room). Its is all over two walls which are external, on my skirting boards, behind pictures, in the top corners, and around the windows. I keep cleaning it off with mould and mildew remover and we have a dehumdifier running 15 hours a day (I can't have it on at night as it dries my eyes out!) I think we realy need to get someone in to look at it, and tell us where it is coming from. But I don't know who to contact, or how much it is going to cost me to call out someone. We also have a chimney that the previous owners blocked up with pillows, i don't know if this could be contributing. Please help, as my alergies cant handle much more!! =-)Thankyou in advance.

earner profile image

earner 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

That's quite a complex set of situations Sophie.

You do need somebody to look at the problem - a good local builder that's a member of a professional body would be better than somebody advertising as "damp and decay professionals" as the latter is most likely to just be a salesman from a company that will sell you an injected damp proof course.

Re the pillows - chimneys need to breathe. Take the pillows out. If you want to block the chimney, then it will still need to be vented, so at least tape up a sheet of carboard with some vent slots cut in it, which'd cut out most of any draught.

It sounds like you have several different issues in your house though, the cause and source of your damp comes from a variety of different issues, which does need somebody to come and look.

womble34 4 years ago

hi all i have worked in quite a few damp properties that range from condensation to rising damp as earner has pointed out things like opening windows and air brick blockages are the common remedys advisable to try. damp paint don't always solve the problem in most cases but is a quick fix to determine what is causing the problem in one case of damp i had to strip the plaster to bare brick and let the wall dry out for a day or two. then once dried i applied TANKING SLURRY. depending on the thickness of the mix you can either paint it on or trowel it on in thicker mixes. then leave for 48 hours to cure. once cured re apply fresh plaster. it has been 2 years since ive done this but the tennant said the problem has been there for 5 years and various biulders have tackled it and lost. lol the slurry i recommend in cases of if all else fails. as it can be expensive due to it being specialist material but can be located in some d.i.y stores. but it has a short shelf life and not many will stock it. but i recommend it i think its fantastic stuff

Debbie Smith 4 years ago

Hi I live in a cottage which is over 400 years old. We have solid chalk walls through out the house. They have to stay damp or else they will fall down. We have lived here for 23 years but this is the first year that the whole house smells of damp and has plenty of black mould spots on the interior walls. We cannot afford a builder to have a look but we desperately need to do something... Any ideas?

tink83 4 years ago

Hi we recently bought a wardrobe to fit the back

Corner of the bedroom it's an exterior wall and I've noticed some black damp patch on the bottom right hand corner, could this simply be condensation or a bigger problem on the outside wall ?

Willie A 4 years ago

hi, i just bought a house with damp issues. it is only on the back exterior walls but is on two levels. The damp patches are just discoloured wallpaper and paint, no black spots seen yet and they appear below the windows on all 3 back rooms. also in the kitchen there is damp on the floor at the back door. I know its not rising damp, there's no mold or dampness on any other floors and skirting boards all appear to be dry enough. There has been no addition to the exterior of the house that would rise it above the damp proof level. any advice on what could be causing this problem?

Julie Gottshall 3 years ago

Dear God,

How long have you been misspelling MOLD ??? It is one of the most simplest words, and I can not believe you chose to spell it with a u. Like bould-er? Come on man, that is just plain pathetic. It rhymes with old...and sold, and gold, and told, and bold, hold, cold, fold, behold, resold, mold, mold, mold.

earner profile image

earner 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Mould is the UK/British spelling of the (wrongly spelt) mold of the US :)

Tony 22 months ago

I've been getting mould in corners of rooms behind furniture on external walls. From the above, it sounds like condensation so I have been keeping my windows slightly open. However, I have lived at my home for nearly 4 years now and it has only recently become an issue. I do have a cellar which has become increasingly damp and I cant keep any furniture down there as it will just get mouldy. Is this the reason why it has only become an issue as the cellar has become increasingly damp? There are brick ventilators in the cellar and I don't want to spend £9k damp-proofing if I can help it. Any advice??

earner profile image

earner 22 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Tony - that does sound like something's changed in your house. Perhaps you could take a fresh look outside of the cellar, to see if anything's built up against the outside wall, breaching the damp proof course.

A quick fix would be to get a dehumidifier and run it, but you need to check if any gutters/downpipes are blocked or leaking, or if there's any other way for water to come through the cellar walls that's changed.

Be wary of calling in a professional as a lot are just sales people who will tell you that you need the £9k damp-proofing! If you do go down that route, then you can save money by hacking off all the plaster yourself and clearing the debris away, then replastering the walls once they've finished. You can do a cheap plastering course that'll get you up to an OK standard for a cellar - after all, it doesn't have to be 100% perfect and you can always give it another go.

alasdair 18 months ago

we have had mold for four months now and the council said they will do the job by may. the mold is on an a external wall an internal wall in the carpits on the wordrobes in the bathrooms any sugestionns

earner profile image

earner 18 months ago from United Kingdom Author

alasdair - that's either two separate instances to fix, or two items from one problem. As your mold is on the ground floor and the upper floor (I presume your bathroom is upstairs), I wonder if the two problem areas are on the same wall and if you've a leaking gutter or drainpipe that needs fixing.

At least the council will be fixing it - and you don't have to pay overpriced professionals/tradesmen to sell you their solution.

gaddie profile image

gaddie 18 months ago from Great Missenden

Some excellent advice. A friend of mine lives in a flat which to be honest smells of a dry cleaners -full of dampness in the air. I have summarised it to him taking his wet washing out of the machine and hanging it up, soaking wet and leaving it to dry naturally.

He recently purchased a de-humidifier and I can say that it has solve the problem completely.

Great hub

pat 15 months ago

IT's been raining here in southern Indiana for days and the inside of my house......carpet, bedding etc feels damp. How can I remedy this?

lindsey 12 months ago

Hi, I'm currently renting an old barn conversion where I'm finding my sofa and clothes are feeling damp. Condensation if obvious when the heating is on. Will a dehumidifier help clear the damp feeling?

Lynda Summers 8 months ago

Hi, we live in a 1960's built bungalow in Cornwall, so its quite a damp atmosphere a lot of the year. We have problems in two of the bedrooms which both have north facing external walls. The wallpaper on the outer wall in our room behind our bed is covered in a greenish dust and the paper has come away from the wall. Also the bedding feels damp where it touches the wall. My husband simply says not to put anything against the walls but as the room is quite small that is almost impossible. Any thing that is stood against the walls eventually become damp. For example a new calendar, wrapped in cellophane I was given was stored there and was ruined after a couple of months. My husband checked the walls with a damp meter and it doesn't show as damp. In the other room I wiped the walls down and sprayed with a anti-fungal spray but as that room is not used so often it doesn't seem to be so badly affected although there is often a damp feeling in the bedding. We have the heating on in both rooms for a good few hours each day and I always have a small window open in our bedroom. I don't know if it is a good idea to remove the wallpaper and simply paint the walls, after treating them. or if it requires a more thorough treatment. There does seem to be a small similar patch at the top corner of the room but not everywhere. We have lived here for 13 years and prior to that the house was empty for a long time but we have put in double glazing and improved the property but we still haven't got on top of this problem. The bungalow is constructed with concrete blocks and as far as we know there is a cavity. We applied to have insulation but as we live up a narrow lane it was decided we couldn't have that done. Any ideas please would be greatly received.

Carrie 6 weeks ago

Hi, are you still answering damp questions please?

earner profile image

earner 4 weeks ago from United Kingdom Author

It's difficult to answer damp questions from a distance. You really need somebody local, who understands local building materials and weather patterns to be able to spot the problem immediately. For one family it might be lifestyle (open the window/buy a humidifier); for another it might be that they've installed cavity wall insulation on a south facing wall where the rain comes mostly from the south and they've not kept on top of their exterior wall maintenance. The reasons damp exists are straight forward, but local materials/weather can be the reason.

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