Children living in a damp home are up to 3 times more likely to have breathing problems. The most common cause of damp is condensation. Condensation happens when water in the air comes into contact with a cold surface, for example a wall or window.
Sometimes damp or mould happens when a house needs repairs, for example a leaking pipe. First try to find out what is causing the damp and fix the problem. You may need advice from a damp specialist or a builder.
Tips to reduce damp in your home:
- Dry clothes outside or use a vented tumble dryer
- Keep lids on pans when cooking
- Use an extractor fan when cooking or showering
- Keep the kitchen or bathroom door closed and open a window so that moist air goes outside
- Let fresh air circulate by leaving a gap between walls and furniture
- Heat your home a little more if possible as very cold rooms are more likely to get damp or mouldy. It helps to keep your home above 15 degrees
- Wipe down damp windows with a cloth and wring it out (don’t dry it on a radiator)
- Open bedroom windows for 5 to 10 minutes every morning
- Insulate your home
- Draft proof your doors
Damp can cause mould to grow on the walls. Mould is a type of fungus. Mould produces spores which your child can breathe in. This may worsen asthma.
Tips for treating mould in your home:
- Remove the cause of the damp
- Clean off mould using a mould spray containing bleach
- Leave to dry overnight and then spray the area with an anti fungal wash following the manufacturers instructions
- Redecorate using mould resistant paint
What to do about damp and mould if you rent
Tell your landlord if you have damp especially if it is affecting your child’s health.
Further information and support:
Advice on condensation, damp and mould from the centre for sustainable energy.
Shelter provide advice on damp in rented homes and what to do if it is affecting your health.
You may also be able to get a housing assessment from your local council. You can find contact information in the Local Support and Contact Details section below.
Asthma UK also provide advice about mould and damp.