They say that prevention is better than a cure and that’s definitely the case when it comes to damp and mould. Although there are many ways to treat damp and mould once it develops, it’s far easier to take steps to stop them occurring in the first place. Tenants are key to this prevention. By educating them about a few small ways to reduce excess moisture in the air, you can eradicate the danger of damp and mould almost altogether with very little impact on their lives. Here are the best ways tenants can combat the development of damp and mould.
- Ensure that the property stays well ventilated. When using the bathroom, do not switch off or disable the bathroom fan as this encourages the settlement of hot air.
- Make sure the chimney and all other areas of ventilation are unblocked to allow a clear path of air through the property.
- Ensure that the property is evenly heated and that there are no heat spots. Avoid the use of portable heaters where possible.
- Keeping the heating on at low all day in cold weather will help to control condensation. It’s also more economical than having the heating on full blast for several short periods during the day.
- If you don’t heat every room, keep the doors of unheated rooms open to allow some heat into them and air to circulate.
- Ask tenants to refrain from drying clothes inside – either on radiators or a clothesline as this is one of the major causes of damp. Landlords may want to consider investing in a tumbledrier to reduce the likelihood of clothes needing to air dry.
- Let tenants know that closing kitchen and bathroom doors when they are in use reduces the chance that heat can escape and collect in other parts of the house. Making full use of extractor fans is another way to reduce the spread of hot air.
Most of these suggestions are simply common sense but it is worth pointing out their benefit to tenants. Landlords could consider including these pointers in the property’s welcome pack as a way of coming across as helpful and engaged rather than making tenants feel they’re being lectured. The most important thing to remember is that it is not just in the landlord’s best interest to stop damp and mould, but in the tenant’s as well.
For more information and ideas about how to handle damp and mould, why not download our free quick guide? It's called Damp and Mould: What are Your Responsibilities? and it's available here.