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Cambridge City Council

Cambridge City Council offers advice to help people avoid illness linked to cold homes and mould

9 December 2022

CAMBRIDGE City Council is urging people to take action to avoid illnesses that increase each winter as a result of people living in cold homes, and providing advice on addressing condensation and mould.

Everyone can reduce condensation, which leads to mould, by:

  • Stopping moisture building up. Hang washing in a bathroom with the door closed and a window open a little, or with an extractor fan on (and avoid drying clothes on radiators as this adds moisture to the air)
  • Ventilating your home. Don’t shut the vents on your windows or block up airbricks, and open windows a little for a short period each day
  • Keeping your home warm. Maintaining a consistent temperature when it’s cold is more effective than a short burst of high heat. The government advises that main living areas should be between 18 and 21 degrees.

Find more ideas about reducing moisture, increasing ventilation and keeping your home warm, and how to treat mould with an antimould cleaner or anti-fungal wash. 

For help with your heating bills, visit the council’s Energy Bill Help webpage for information about discounts, grants, recurring vouchers, emergency vouchers, and much more.

If you are a council tenant and you can’t stop mould growing, you can contact the council. Email or phone 01223 457060. Council staff can visit your home to help identify and resolve the problem.

If you are a private tenant, including Housing Association tenants, you should report damp or mould to your landlord. If they do not resolve your concerns, you can contact the council, which can help you make a housing complaint. Contact the Customer Services Environmental Heath team by email or phone 01223 457900.

Problems linked to living in cold homes can include blood pressure increases, common colds, heart attacks and pneumonia. If your home drops below 16 degrees, your resistance to respiratory diseases may drop. And below 13 degrees, your blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease increases. Download the Centre for Sustainable Energy's energy advice leaflet to learn more [link no longer active]. 

Living with mould can cause a sore throat, asthma, and even serious permanent lung damage, with children more likely to be affected. 

Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “In September our landlord forum helped landlords to prepare to support tenants during the cost of living crisis. Any landlords needing advice to meet energy efficiency standards, to access grant funding to provide additional energy improvements, or any other guidance on supporting tenants, can contact our team.

“We want tenants to know that support is available to keep their homes warm and free of mould – we don’t want people living in cold homes with mould, risking their health.”

Cllr Mairéad Healy, Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing, said: “The cost of living popup events that we ran during November with local partners were really well received and all of the support on offer is still available – whether you’re a tenant or you own your own home, please access what you need using our cost of living webpages.

“You can also find out about warm and welcoming spaces that are open to everyone through the winter to drop in for a meal or to work or to socialise. Please don’t feel like you’re alone in this. We are here to help and want you to contact the council if you need any support.”

Visit our cost of living webpages.

Find more information for landlords. This includes specific information for landlords about condensation, and damp and mould growth. [PDF, 0Kb]