Dealing with damp

Damp can be frustrating if you don't know how to tackle it properly. The Mix shares a few tips on how to minimise damp.

damp and cracks in wall

Damp can also lead to some interesting wall art

How do I know if I have damp?

You’ll often notice damp on your walls or ceilings. Looks-wise, it shows up as gross speckle patches of black mould, sort of like someone’s flicked black watercolor paint off a brush onto your walls. Or, it can just look well… damp, with patches of darkening on your paint or wallpaper.

Is damp dangerous?

While it’s unlikely to kill you, damp is not good for your health and you should try and get rid of it as soon as possible. It can cause skin and breathing problems. Children and people with asthma and allergies are particularly sensitive to damp.

What is damp, though?

Simply put, damp is what happens when there’s too much moisture in the air, which encourages mould growth. This mould releases spores that are bad for your health.

What causes damp?

It’s usually a structural problem with your home: it’s either allowing water to leak in, or not providing adequate ventilation to let moisture out. You need to get onto your landlord or housing association about getting the issue identified and fixed.

What do I do if I have damp?

Let your landlord or housing association know ASAP. They can’t do anything about it unless you tell them. If they ignore you, then contact your local authority’s Environmental Health department [Link]. If they believe the damp is hazardous to your health, they can force your landlord or housing association to sort it out.

How can I minimise damp?

Here are some small steps you can take to keep the damp at bay while you’re waiting for the builder.

  • Open windows for 15 minutes each morning to keep the air flowing.
  • Don’t put really wet clothes on radiators, ideally use a tumble dryer at a launderette.
  • If you’re cooking, showering, or bathing, open the window and close the door.

Next Steps



By Holly Bourne

Updated on 11-Jan-2016

Photo by Shutterstock.