Damp and condensation
It is normal to experience condensation or mould in your home at some point, but if it becomes a problem we’ll do what we can to help you solve it.
Damp in your home can cause mould to appear on your decorations and furniture. If your home is damp, you are more likely to see the growth of mould and this can increase the risk of breathing problems.
Damp can be caused by leaking pipes or overflows, roof leaks, blocked and overflowing gutters, water ingress around window frames and rising damp caused by a defective damp-course. These causes of damp usually leave a ‘tidemark’ and if you notice any of these problems affecting your home please contact us.
What is condensation?
One of the most common causes of damp is condensation. There’s always moisture in the air, even if you can’t see it; most moisture in your home is created by daily activities like washing and cooking. Condensation happens when warm air cools. Droplets of water are released when air comes into contact with cool surfaces, like a window, forming a misty layer. This is why condensation occurs more during the winter months when it’s colder outside.
What causes condensation?
There are three main causes:
- Too much moisture is produced in your home.
- Not enough ventilation for air to move around
- Your home or room is too cold
How to avoid condensation?
There are three things you can do to avoid condensation in your home:
1. Reduce moisture in the air
Some ordinary daily activities produce a lot of moisture very quickly. By following these simple steps you can produce less moisture in your home:
- To reduce steam keep a lid on saucepans as you cook and try to not leave kettles boiling.
- Avoid using portable gas or paraffin heaters as these produce a lot of moisture.
- Dry washing outdoors on a line, or in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan on.
- Vent any tumble dryer on the outside, unless it is the self-condensing type. DIY kits are available for this.
2. Ventilate to remove moisture
- Close the door and keep the windows open for five or ten minutes immediately after an activity that produces a lot of moisture for an example having a shower. Closing the door will prevent moisture reaching other rooms.
- Keep all vents and trickle vents open and clear.
- Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes. Avoid putting too many things in them as this stops the air circulation.
- Leave space between furniture and external walls to allow air to circulate.
3. Reduce ‘cold spots’
- In cold weather it is better to have a low level of background heating on all the time, even when there is no one at home.
- Avoid warming unheated rooms by leaving the door open to heated rooms, as this will cause warm air to enter the cold room and condense on cold surfaces.
Useful tips for treating mould in your home
- To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash that carries a Health and Safety Executive 'approval number' and follow the manufacturer's instructions precisely.
- Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets. Disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning can increase the risk of breathing problems.
- After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould reappearing. These are available from most DIY stores. Note that this paint is not effective if overlaid with ordinary paints or wallpaper.
If you have tried all the things mentioned to reduce condensation but are still struggling to keep your home free from damp and mould growth please contact us to see if we can help.