How not to dampen your rental property

Although we are still having the occasional sunny day, the truth is we are heading towards dark nights, cold, wet weather and, with this change, a particular problem can start to arise.  Damp is one of those issues we often don’t truly understand, yet it affects millions of homes every year.  Before the weather turns again, find out how you can prevent dampening your rental apartment.
Many forms
Damp and mould can take several forms, such as rising damp, which occurs when groundwater rises up into a building’s bricks and mortar.  This could be a sign that an existing damp-proof course has failed, and is therefore worth investigating.  Leaks from guttering, which then start to seep into a property, and other structural failures can cause penetrating damp.
Should damp not be resolved quickly, mould can set in.  Mould is basically a fungus that again, if left untreated, can affect people’s health and also reduce the value of your apartment.
Biggest cause
You may be surprised to learn that condensation is one of the biggest causes of mould and damp, and the problem gets worse in cold weather.  Condensation in caused by excess moisture in the air and can be prevented by keeping your apartment reasonably warm and well ventilated.  As this type of damp can easily be caused accidently by tenants, due to lack of understanding, it is worth investing in ventilation should this be lacking in your apartment. 
Most apartments that we manage for landlords have good ventilation, but we also try and educate our tenants on what they can do to help prevent damp from occurring during their tenancy.
Manage condensation
Did you know that two pints of moisture are produced when having a bath?
It’s important to find ways to manage condensation in the winter months when windows are often closed, limiting ventilation.  Some of the suggestions that you could give to your tenants are:
  • Before the start of a tenancy, check that extractor fans are working as well as any other additional ventilation you have installed.
  • Whilst cooking, cover saucepans to limit the amount of steam in the room.
  • Where possible, keep a window open in any room you are drying clothes in by a radiator.
  • Should you find condensation, wipe the area dry as soon as possible.
  • A handy tip when bathing: you can reduce the amount of steam from the hot water in your bath by running the cold water tap first.
  • You can stop the spread of moisture to rooms by keeping doors closed to your kitchen and bathroom where possible.
  • Try and have a window open, or its trickle vents, when you are taking a shower or cooking, as this will maintain the air flow and balance the heat.
Our property management team are here to support and advise all our landlords and tenants. If you would like more advice on damp or any other issue related to a rental property, contact our team today on 01225 303870.