Condensation is caused when warm moisture in the air settles on cool surfaces.
You will find that condensation clears quickly in warm and well ventilated rooms.
Condensation can be the cause of dampness and mould in the home. Here are some simple ways of preventing condensation in your home.
What causes it?
When you have had a hot bath or shower and the cold surface of the bathroom mirror mists over, this is condensation. It happens when warm moist air comes into contact with a cold surface or cold air and produces tiny drops of water. Condensation can be more of a problem in the cold winter months, where it is often found next to windows, in the corners of rooms and behind wardrobes. Over time this can cause black mould and damp patches to appear.
What we do in our homes has a direct effect on the amount of condensation created. Cooking, washing, drying clothes inside, even breathing puts moisture into the air – but we don’t suggest you stop doing that!
The good news is that there are easy steps you can take to prevent condensation and to stop the damp and mould it causes:
1. Reduce the moisture in your home
- Avoid creating a lot of steam in the kitchen – cover pans and don’t leave the kettle boiling.
- If fitted, use an extractor fan when cooking or bathing and for at least 30 minutes afterwards.
- Shut the bathroom door when bathing or showering.
- If you are running a bath, put some cold water in first to reduce the amount of steam.
- Dry clothes outside whenever possible.
- If you do not have an outdoor space to line dry your clothes (or the weather is bad), only dry clothes in the bathroom with the door closed and windows open or extractor fan on. Hang clothes so that the air has free circulation around each item to allow quicker drying.
- Do not place washing directly on top of your radiators unless it is a towel rail purposefully designed for drying.
- Ensure the air from your tumble dryer is vented to the outside.
2. Ventilate your home to keep the air circulating
- Keep a window or trickle vents slightly open when you’re using a room.
- Move furniture away from walls to allow air to circulate behind it.
- Air cupboards and wardrobes and avoid putting too much in them as this stops the air circulating.
3. Keep your home at a constant temperature
- In cold weather, consider keeping your whole property at a constant temperature, so unused rooms don’t become refrigerators for the rest of the property.
- If you have a thermostatic control on radiators, set the temperature on low in unused rooms so that the heating kicks in when it goes below 10°.
- Warm walls and an even temperature reduce the likelihood of condensation and damp.
- All our properties have been brought up to the Decent Homes standards however, please contact our Energy Savings Consultants, if you think your property is not fully insulated.
4. Getting rid of mould
- Any condensation that forms on surfaces should be wiped off promptly to prevent the risk of damp and mould.
- If mould still appears in your home, wipe it with a fungicidal wash – you can buy this in most large supermarkets or DIY stores.
- Alternatively you can use a very weak bleach solution.
- Please make sure you wear rubber gloves and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The only lasting way to avoid severe mould is to reduce condensation in your home by following the tips on this page.
Other factors such as a leaking pipe, missing or broken roof tiles or blocked cavities can have an effect. In these cases, damp normally leaves a ‘tide mark’ that can occur at any time of the year.
If you believe that the damp in your home is caused by such a structural problem, please contact Ocean.