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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 dampness 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.
Here are three simple solutions to prevent dampness in your home:
- Ventilate your home properly.
- Get a dehumidifier.
- Regularly wipe down mould.
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 dampness 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 dampness today and scour the classified ads for a dehumidifying unit now. I wouldn't live without one.
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!
There are also small dehumidifiers available for cupboards and small rooms, caravans, sheds, and lofts. Some will even fit on a windowsill.
3. Regularly Wipe 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.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2007 Dedicated Content Curator
James on December 29, 2019:
So I have to run a dehumidifier everyday for as long as I live in this house. I just dont understand why Im collecting a gallon of water a day.
Help!!! Could awnings help cause dampness and mold? Should I remove?
David on August 03, 2019:
Thank you - straightforward advice. Will try it.
Jennifermclachlin on August 20, 2018:
I want to know if you guys don't how to get rid of this nastiest smoke up in the air it's bothering my mother's belongings and it's bothering us we cannot sleep that night there Bessley because get this kind of stuff .
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on September 27, 2017:
Set it at full for 1-2 days and see how you go. What settings you settle on will depend on your personal preferences, home, location... so do what you're happy with. Some people run a dehumidifier at full for hours or days at a time, others leave it low and have it on 24/7 and forget it.
J.b on September 06, 2017:
I have a portable humidifier but not sure what #i should set it on
Katess on September 01, 2017:
We live in an apartment. I have mold spots showing up on apartment walls. Manager claims that having furniture along walls, and not keeping air conditioner turned down (we keep it at 76 degrees) is the reason. The mold started in master bedroom closet and is now in bedroom and living room (looks like dirty spots on walls. Is this possible? The moisture level in our apartment (on the manager's moisture meter) showed higher levels of moisture.
Lourdes on August 27, 2017:
I have a first floor bathroom/laundry room that I notice has a damp looking (but dry) streak on the wall. Under the bathroom is my basement that I have failed to use my humidifier . And above the room on 2nd floor is a full bathroom. What could it be? Who's professional advice should I seek?
Chandan on July 04, 2017:
I bought a new flat and have shifted one year ago in one of my bedroom which has an attached bath i find the floor very cold even in summer may i know why?
susie on July 02, 2017:
out side of house in places are damp painting inside of walls are pealing an bubbling why
Alex on June 26, 2017:
I have a studio apartment, black mould seems to be on carpets under the bed and under shelving, what should I do to treat this?
Renuka fernandes on June 15, 2017:
I live in a state Goa where humidity is max and in rains dampness makes you Ill please advice a good humidifier.
Tina on April 26, 2017:
What does it mean when your walls are constantly sticky and the floors.
Frances on December 22, 2016:
My case is all the opposite, every time I opened windows, the mold just grows more and more. But when I closed them, it just stops. I live in front of a tropical forest. I already bought a dehumidifier, cleaned with bleach every corner of my apartment... What can I do?
frustrated with moisture on December 19, 2016:
we have a storage room in our finished basement that is not occupied. the concrete block on the inside of this exterior wall shows moisture when measured with a moisture analyzer. The wood above this area is dry. All other rooms in the basement are dry (which are the rooms that are occupied). is this cause for concern if no one is normally in the room and all other rooms show no issues?
Further, the moisture issue was flagged when we bought the house. after investigating, we found that the porch directly above this wall had multiple issues (no gutters, not properly sloped, cracks in the concrete, etc.). we knew there was moisture coming in from the porch to this basement room because we could see the wood above the concrete block was wet. Now that we have corrected all of these issues, the concrete block is still wet but the wood is dry. this fact, along with the fact that no other rooms are wet, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
If this is the only room wet, would looking into a drainage system make sense? or should we go back and verify the slope was done successfully? other ideas/advice???
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on September 24, 2016:
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.
Carrie on September 05, 2016:
Hi, are you still answering damp questions please?
Lynda Summers on February 22, 2016:
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.
lindsey on October 23, 2015:
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?
pat on July 09, 2015:
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?
Alex Gadd from Great Missenden on April 26, 2015:
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.
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on April 24, 2015:
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.
alasdair on April 23, 2015:
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
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on December 12, 2014:
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.
Tony on December 08, 2014:
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??
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on February 25, 2013:
Mould is the UK/British spelling of the (wrongly spelt) mold of the US :)
Julie Gottshall on February 09, 2013:
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.
Willie A on September 25, 2012:
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?
tink83 on September 03, 2012:
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 ?
Debbie Smith on August 09, 2012:
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?
womble34 on May 23, 2012:
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
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on May 14, 2012:
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.
Sophie on May 14, 2012:
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.
Julie on May 07, 2012:
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.
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on April 27, 2012:
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.
iain wilkinson on April 27, 2012:
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
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on March 15, 2012:
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.
Angie Dobson on March 15, 2012:
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 ?
Helen on February 29, 2012:
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
Jodie on February 15, 2012:
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.
myself46 on February 12, 2012:
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?
george on February 11, 2012:
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
sarahedge from crewe on February 10, 2012:
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
sarah on February 10, 2012:
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
hi on February 08, 2012:
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.,..
Julia456 on February 08, 2012:
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.
leah on February 04, 2012:
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 :(
kelly on January 27, 2012:
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
Ken on January 23, 2012:
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.
Jaycee on January 19, 2012:
P.S. thank you for this information i have learned so much from you already :)
Jaycee on January 19, 2012:
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?
Greg on January 17, 2012:
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? :)
rosie on January 11, 2012:
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
jane on January 07, 2012:
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
Anne on January 06, 2012:
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?
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on January 05, 2012:
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.
Jackie on December 29, 2011:
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?
branderz from Central New York on December 29, 2011:
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?
garry corbally on December 25, 2011:
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
Dave on December 20, 2011:
Replaced aluminium siding with vinyl now have mood in bedrooms. Is this from improper siding or could it be from when basement flooded
matt on December 20, 2011:
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.
Sue on December 18, 2011:
Why is my back and front door panels and the glass always wet through
hayley elgood , london on December 14, 2011:
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
Lesleyanne on December 12, 2011:
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
jane on December 06, 2011:
getting damp patches , n windows get steamed up, wen using steam iron, is it worth getting dihumidifiar wen ironog wid steam iron ...
maria on December 01, 2011:
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
scott on November 30, 2011:
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
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on November 27, 2011:
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:
 you'll get rid of the mould  you might save your favourite/expensive jacket from being ruined over the winter  choose a small one and you'll have it for life  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.
C on November 26, 2011:
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?
michelle on November 22, 2011:
thank you for replying to my last post. I am now looking into getting a dehumidifier. Thank you for your advice on this matter.
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on November 21, 2011:
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 on November 20, 2011:
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!
brian on November 18, 2011:
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?
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on November 18, 2011:
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,
joy on November 17, 2011:
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
Christ on November 15, 2011:
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!
David Orr on November 15, 2011:
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.
Beth on November 11, 2011:
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!
Ceyni on November 09, 2011:
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??
Bryony on November 08, 2011:
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!
Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on November 08, 2011:
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.
Sheree on November 07, 2011:
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
lee on November 04, 2011:
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 .
joedav18 on November 02, 2011:
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?
Sam D on October 30, 2011:
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.
Jenny on October 25, 2011:
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
JOY KORUS on October 15, 2011:
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
April on October 12, 2011:
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
leah on October 06, 2011:
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
Lisa E. on October 04, 2011:
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.
sara mellor on September 30, 2011:
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
K Matthews on September 30, 2011:
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?
janet thompson on September 27, 2011:
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
L Stewart on September 14, 2011:
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!
Jose More on September 12, 2011:
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?
Glen on September 05, 2011:
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?
Cathy on September 05, 2011:
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?
Teresa wilkinson on September 01, 2011:
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.
jane on August 29, 2011:
is it worth switching dehumdifier on , then off after using a steam iron
Sonja on August 25, 2011:
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.
terry on August 22, 2011:
getting damp patches around the wall sockets, do use a steam iron, will a dehumidifiar help....wen i use a steam iron..