SGCH Ltd - information leaflet 11 - how to prevent damp and mould

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					Area Housing Offices
Central Area Housing Office
The Basildon Centre, St Martin’s Square, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL T: 01268 465111 | Fax: 01268 465159 | Email: centralareahousing@sgch.org.uk

Customer Service Information Leaflet

11

Felmores Area Housing Office
13 Felmores End, Basildon, Essex SS13 1PW T: 01268 465200 | Fax: 01268 465206 | Email: felmoresareahousing@sgch.org.uk

how to prevent

damp & mould
in your home

Laindon Area Housing Office
5-8 Dunton Court, Aston Road, Laindon, Essex SS15 6NX T: 01268 465161 | Fax: 01268 465162 | Email: laindonareahousing@sgch.org.uk

Pitsea Area Housing Office
13 Northlands Pavement, Pitsea, Basildon, Essex SS13 3DU T: 01268 465010 | Fax: 01268 465031 | Email: pitseaareahousing@sgch.org.uk Our Area Housing Offices are open for our customers to use during the following times: Mon - Fri 9am - 5.15pm

This information is about improvement or repair to your home. If you want this information translated into another language or in another format such as audio CD, Braille or large print, please phone 01268 465112 or email: mailroom@sgch.org.uk St Georges Community Housing Head Office: 5-8 Dunton Court | Aston Road | Laindon Basildon | Essex SS15 6NX Tel: 01268 465050 | www.SGCH.org.uk

A strong future together, investing in homes, neighbourhoods and lives

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Is your home damp? Damp can cause mould on walls and furniture and make timber frames rot.

If your home is newly built it may be damp because the water used during its construction (for example, plaster) is still drying out. If your home is damp for any of these reasons it may take weeks of heating and ventilation to dry out. Hiring a dehumidifier will help. If you do not think the damp comes from any of these causes, then it is probably condensation.

Damp housing encourages the growth of mould and mites, increasing the risk of breathing problems and illness.
Some damp is caused by condensation. This leaflet explains how condensation forms and how you can keep it to a minimum, so reducing the risk of dampness and mould.

How to avoid condensation
These three steps will help you reduce the condensation in your home.

1. Produce less moisture
Some ordinary daily activities produce a lot of moisture very quickly. • Cover pans and do not leave kettles boiling • Avoid using paraffin and portable, flueless bottled gas heaters as these heaters fill the air with a lot of moisture • Dry laundry outdoors or put it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan switched on • Vent any tumble dryer on the outside, unless it is the self-condensation type. DIY kits are available for this.

What is condensation?
There is always some moisture in the air, even if you cannot see it. If the air gets colder, it cannot hold all the moisture and tiny drops of water appear. This is condensation. It is most noticeable when you breathe out on a cold day or when the mirror mists over when you have a bath or shower. Condensation occurs mainly in cold weather, whether it is raining or dry. It does not leave a ‘tidemark’. It appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air. Look for it in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards. It often forms on north-facing walls.

2. Ventilate to remove moisture
You can ventilate your home without making draughts. • Keep a small window ajar or trickle ventilator open when someone is in the room • Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use by opening the window wider. Better still, use a humidity-controlled electric fan. These switch on automatically when the air becomes humid and are cheap to run

Is it condensation?
Condensation is not the only cause of damp. It can also come from: • Leaking pipes, waste or overflows • Rain seeping through the roof where a tile is missing or spilling from a blocked gutter, or entering around window frames • Rising damp due to a defective damp-course or because there is no damp-course. These causes of damp often leave a ‘tidemark’.

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• Close the kitchen and bathroom doors when these rooms are in use, even if your kitchen or bathroom has an extractor fan. A door closed is advisable, as this will help prevent moisture reaching other rooms, especially bedrooms, which are often colder and more likely to suffer condensation • Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes. Avoid over-filling them as this stops air circulation. Cut a ventilation slot in the back of each shelf or use slatted shelves. Cut ‘breather’ holes in the doors and in the back of wardrobes and leave space between the back of the wardrobe and the wall. Where possible, position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls • If you replace your window units, make sure that the new frames have trickle ventilators.

Some words of warning
• Do not block permanent ventilators • Do not completely block chimneys. Instead, leave a hole about the size of two bricks and fit a louvered grille over it • Do not draught proof a room where there is a cooker or a fuel-burning heater, for example, a gas fire • Do not draught proof windows in the bathroom and kitchen.

First steps against mould
• Firstly, treat any mould you may have in your home. If you deal with the basic problem of condensation, mould should not reappear • To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash which carries a Health and Safety Executive ‘approval number’. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. Dry-clean mildewed cloths and shampoo carpets. Distributing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning can increase the risk of respiratory problems • After treating walls, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould recurring. Please note that this paint is not effective if overlaid with ordinary paint or wallpaper.

3. Insulate, draught proof and heat your home
Insulation and draught proofing will warm up your home and also reduce fuel bills. Condensation will also be less likely. • Insulate your loft. Remember to draught proof the loft hatch but do not block the opening under the eaves • Consider cavity wall insulation. However, you should talk to your local building inspector before making a decision as building regulations approval is required • Consider secondary and double-glazing of windows to reduce heat loss and draughts but you must ensure that there is ventilation • In cold weather, keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home.

Key points to remember
The only long-lasting way to avoid severe mould in your home is to eliminate dampness. • Reduce the amount of moisture you produce • Improve ventilation • Insulate, draught proof and heat the property.

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Useful Information
St Georges Community Housing, in partnership with Basildonwise and Miller-Pattison, offers free loft and cavity wall insulation to all its tenants and leaseholders. As a result you could save between £80 and £100 a year in energy bills.

Important Addresses
Head Office
5 - 8 Dunton Court, Aston Road, Laindon, Essex SS15 6NX T: 01268 465050 Emergency out of hours: 01268 286622

Benefits Include:
• A warmer home in winter months, a cooler home in summer the best of both worlds! • Cheaper bills • Less condensation in the home • Protecting the environment. Tenants and leaseholders should apply to the Property Services Customer Centre on 01268 465357 and ask about free loft and cavity wall insulation.

Property Services
Alpi House, 6 Miles Gray Road, Basildon, Essex SS14 3HJ Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

Repairs and Maintenance
T: 01268 465000 | Fax: 01268 465376 | Email: repairs@sgch.org.uk

Aids and adaptations
T: 01268 465252 | Fax: 01268 465296 | Email: aidsandadaptations@sgch.org.uk

Gas Service Centre
Unit 11, Hovefields Court, Hovefield Avenue, Burnt Mills Industrial Estate,Basildon, Essex SS14 1EB T: 01268 596600 | Fax: 08702 429429 Email: gascentre@sgch.org.uk


				
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Description: SGCH Ltd - information leaflet 11 - how to prevent damp and mould