A RISING number of home owners are facing problems with condensation, damp and mould, according to a trade body.

The Property Care Association says rising energy costs, warmer and wetter weather, and the drive to make our properties more energy-efficient through insulation and draught proofing all have a part to play.

James Berry, technical manager for the 400-member association, said controlling water temperatures can help, such as putting cold water in the bath first and then topping up with hot to reduce steam by up to 90 per cent.

Peeling wallpaper, cracked plaster, mould or flaky paint could indicate your home's insulation has failed.

Poor pointing and cracking render in filled cavity-wall buildings can lead to major problems, and should be investigated as soon as possible.

Keep your dwelling in tip-top condition to stop water seeping in, such as where lead flashings meet the chimney stack. Have cracked or slipped roof tiles repaired; unblock gutters; and ensure downpipes have no faulty joints.

For more, see www.property-care.org/homeowners/