Condensation is perhaps the most common form of damp that can appear in your home. It occurs when warm air meets a colder surface, such as a wall or window. Things like washing, cooking, tumble driers, steam mops and people breathing put moisture into the air inside your home.
Left untreated condensation can lead to mould growth which can be potentially harmful to people and properties. If your home is suffering from condensation you will start to see signs of it very quickly, such as:
- Damp or wet walls and windows;
- Peeling wallpaper;
- Signs of mould growth; and/or
- Musty smell on clothes in wardrobes.
Condensation is not the only cause of damp, but can also come from:
- Leaking pipes, waste pipes or overflows;
- Roof leaks where a slate or tile is missing, blocked gutters or leaking through a cracked pipe, and;
- Penetrating damp from external due to ineffective or no damp course.
The reason condensation appears in your home is due to the lack of adequate ventilation. If you do not take steps to prevent condensation mould will start to develop.
Adequate ventilation is essential to allow moisture to escape before it turns into condensation.
If damp is an issue in your home a dehumidifier may help to dry out the areas affected.
It is possible to prevent condensation build up and ensure that your home remains damp and mould free. Below are a few suggestions to how you can reduce the condensation levels in your property.
- Let air circulate by keeping internal doors open whilst sleeping
- Ensure window trickle vents are open
- Make sure acquariums are covered to prevent excess moisture
- Move house plants outdoors for a while
- Avoid using paraffin or bottled gas heaters
- Do not block permanent ventilators
- Limit the use of steam mops for cleaning laminate flooring or ensure the room is well ventilated when doing so.
Keep the temperature inside your home reasonably constant. Recommended temperatures for your property are:
- Living Room - 21 degrees
- Bedrooms - 18 degrees
- Halls and Stairs - 16 degrees
- Bathrooms - 22 degrees
Washing and Drying Clothes
Avoid trying clothes indoors over radiators, and if you must dry clothes indoors it should be in a bathroom with the door closed and a window open or extractor fan on.
Ensure washing machines and tumble driers are properly vented and that the condensate is regularly emptied. Please make sure that the door to the kitchen is closed when doing washing or using your drier and put on your extractor fan or open a window.
Use your kitchen fans (extractor or cooker hood) every time you cook or boil a kettle. If you do not have an extractor fan, open a window. Leave the fan on or window open for at least 10-15 minutes after you finish cooking to ensure that the moisture has all gone.
Cover pans when cooking to reduce the moisture being released into the air and close the kitchen door when cooking to prevent moisture in the air going into colder rooms.
If you do not have an extractor fan or window in your kitchen, make sure that you wipe down any cold surfaces to remove the moisture.
Use your bathroom extractor fan every time you take a shower or bath or open a window if you do not have a fan. Leave the window open for at least 10-15 minutes after you finish bathing to ensure that the moisture has all gone.
Close the bathroom door when bathing to prevent moisture in the air going into colder rooms.
If you do not have an extractor fan or window in your bathroom, make sure you wipe down any cold surfaces to remove the moisture.
Keep furniture away from external walls where possible. If not, keep at least 50mm away from the external wall.
Try not to overfill wardrobes or cupboards as a lack of ventilation can result in mould due to the lack of air circulating freely inside.