Isle of Wight Council

Housing Enforcement

Damp and Mould

There are many reasons for moisture being present within the home. This applies especially if a property is suffering continued dampness. All reasons will need to be considered. There are three areas to consider.

Design, materials and construction

The adequate design and use of appropriate materials. Suitable workmanship needs to be in place to avoid water/moisture access or build up. There are many issues that could relate to this aspect. For example:

  • unsuitable weatherproofing materials in exposed locations
  • poorly installed roofing
  • failure to install adequate damp roof courses or membranes
  • insufficient insulating materials used
  • insufficient controllable ventilation (windows, mechanical vents)
  • insufficient space provided for the number of occupiers and use of the building

This item will nearly always be under the control of, and the responsibility of the owner/landlord.

Maintenance

The building must be maintained and adjusted for any changes to the designed use. This aspect covers issues including damaged, worn, or eroded building elements such as:

  • windows
  • walls
  • ceilings
  • floors
  • vents
  • roof coverings
  • pipework
  • heaters

It also includes the need to increase controllable ventilation. This can be due to things like increased occupation, occupier’s behaviours in producing moisture, or improvements to the insulation and airtightness. This aspect is the responsibility of both the owner/landlord and the occupier. Owners/Landlords should undertake occasional inspections to identify problems and react to occupiers reports of disrepair or dampness. Examples of problems include:

  • water access
  • leaking pipes
  • condensation
  • wet rot
  • dry rot
  • building materials deterioration
  • mould
  • stains

Behaviours

The occupier’s behaviours and actions can create moisture and affect air quality. This must be managed to avoid condensation and resulting mould growth. Occupiers need to:

  • heat and ventilate the property (more so in winter)
  • avoid causing excess moisture and damage to the dwelling
  • report issues to landlords (if a tenant)
  • clean off mould growth at the earliest opportunity
  • recognise that mould growth means there is a moisture problem

This aspect is virtually all the responsibility of the occupiers. It may be partly the responsibility of the owner/landlord where there are problems that need to be fixed.