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Cambridge City Council

Reduce condensation and prevent mould in your home

A build-up of moisture in your home can cause damp and mould problems and could affect your health.

Condensation is a common problem caused when moist, warm air meets a cold surface like a window or external wall. Dampness caused by too much condensation can lead to mould growth on walls, ceilings and furniture.

Mould spores can irritate your throat and lead to serious permanent damage to your lungs. They can also lead to children developing asthma.

If mould starts to grow on your walls, clean it with an anti-mould cleaner or anti-fungal wash. You will then need to address the cause of the dampness that led to the mould growing. We have listed some tips below to help with this.

Support available

Heating bill help

For support with your heating bills, to help keep your home between 18 and 21 degrees, tenants and homeowners alike can visit our energy bill help page.

This includes information about discounts, grants, recurring vouchers, emergency vouchers and much more to help everyone who is finding it difficult to afford heating bills this winter.

Council tenants

If you are a council tenant and you can’t stop mould growing, you can contact us via email condensation@cambridge.gov.uk or phone us on 01223 457060.

If you are able to take any photographs of the area where the concern is, please send these to us via email.

We can visit your home to help identify and resolve the problem.

Private tenants

If you are a private tenant, including Housing Association tenants, you should report damp or mould to your landlord. 

If your landlord is unable to resolve these concerns, you can contact our customer services environmental health team by email env.health@cambridge.gov.uk or phone 01223 457900.

We can support in making a housing complaint.

Reduce condensation and increase ventilation

Two people showering, cooking and washing the dishes every day can add about 50 litres of moisture to the air in a week.

Anything you can do to reduce the amount of moisture you add to the air will help to reduce condensation. For example, you could:

  • dry your windows and sills every morning and keep surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom dry. Wring out the cloth rather than drying it on a radiator
  • hang your washing outside to dry if possible. Or hang it in the bathroom with the door closed and a window open or extractor fan on
  • cook with pan lids on and the extractor fan on. Use only as much water as you need to cover vegetables, and turn down the heat when the water has boiled
  • reduce steam when having a bath by running the cold water first and then adding the hot
  • make sure your tumble drier has a vent that connects to the outside, if it is not a condenser model

You can also try to increase ventilation in your home, to let the moist air circulate and escape outside. You could:

  • open windows and vents whenever possible to allow air to circulate, especially when cooking or washing up
  • use an extractor fan or open a bathroom window for about 20 minutes after showering or bathing
  • leave your bedroom window open at night, even if only slightly
  • keep the kitchen and bathroom doors closed so moisture cannot escape into the rest of the house
  • keep a small gap between large furniture and the wall, and where possible place it against an internal wall

Warm air holds more moisture than cool air – the warmer it is, the more it can hold, meaning less condensation. It’s better to keep a medium temperature throughout your home than to heat one room to a high temperature.

If you can, improve your home’s insulation and draught proofing to keep surfaces warmer. This is also help to reduce your fuel bills.