Mould and Dampness

Once you move into a rental premises, you need to keep the house clean and tidy. This includes keeping it in a condition that doesn’t encourage mould and damp. A well-aired, ventilated house is crucial to prevent mould.

You’re most likely to have problems with damp and mould in autumn and winter. A dry, well-aired home is easier to heat and healthier for you and your family. To protect the health of everyone in your home, remove mould as soon as it appears. Use a clean sponge or cloth when washing off mould and rinse it often. This reduces the risk of the mould spreading.

Here are some easy ways to ventilate and reduce damp in your home:

  • Air your home regularly.
    Open doors and windows for 10-15 minutes each morning. Airing out a room when you turn off the heater also helps to avoid condensation. Keep the curtains open during the day.
  • Use energy efficient, low emission heaters.
    Heat every room being used by someone to at least 18°C. Don't use unflued or portable gas heaters.
  • Dry washing outside.
    Use a washing line or rack under a covered verandah, garage or carport.
  • Clothes dryers vented outside.
    Ensure that any clothes dryers are vented outside to ensure that no additional moisture enters the home.
  • Use lids on pots when you cook.
    This helps to stop the steamescaping.
  • Use extractor fans and rangehoods when fitted.
    Make sure they're regularly cleaned for maximum extraction.
  • Turn on the bathroom fan before a shower or bath.
    Shut the door and open the window. Afterwards, leave the fan running until the moisture clears.
  • Move furniture away from walls in winter.
    A 10cm gap will discourage mould (especially on external walls).
  • Leave wardrobes slightly open.
    A little air circulation discourages mould from growing on fabric.
  • Use a dehumidifier on damp days.
    This will help to reduce condensation, but it won't solve a dampness problem. It's better to tackle the sources of damp and heat as detailed above and ventilate your home daily.

Other things to do to prevent mould and damp:

  • Wipe condensation off walls and windows daily.
  • Keep the shower curtain hanging inside the shower or bath so water doesn’t drip on the floor and wash the curtain every few weeks. 
  • Keep only a few plants inside
  • If you have a mattress on the floor, air the mattress every day by removing the covers and lifting the mattress onto its side. Consider getting a bed base that allows air to circulate.

If you’re doing all the right things, and the house is still damp and mouldy, talk to your property manager.