14 ways to help reduce condensation in your property10/10/2014
- 14 ways to help reduce condensation in your property
As the clocks change and the evenings get darker, we are reminded that the winter weather is just around the corner. During the winter months, we start to feel the cold more and this brings our attention to the damp and condensation issues that are lurking in our homes.
Condensation is perhaps the most common form of dampness that can appear in your property and can cause wallpaper to peel, damp patches to appear on walls and a build up of moisture on your windows. Left untreated the condensation can create mould growth which can be potentially harmful and lead to serious health issues and breathing difficulties.
The reason condensation appears in your property is due to a lack of adequate ventilation. As we spend more time indoors and make our property more energy efficient the build up of moisture and humidity levels increase.
In fact, four people living in a 3 bedroom property would create 112 pints of moisture a week from just breathing, cooking, showering and boiling the kettle.
So how can you reduce the condensation in your property?
If you constantly have to wipe condensation off your windows and have a dehumidifier running for lengthy periods of time then you may want to think about whole house ventilation as a permanent solution to condensation and to improve the air quality indoors for your tenants or family.
If you are looking for a short term fix rather than a permanent solution then here are our suggestions to reduce the condensation levels in your property:
- If you have a washing machine or tumble dryer in your property, ensure that it is vented correctly. From just one load of washing two litres of water is emitted into the air.
- Where possible, try to dry clothes outdoors to prevent excess moisture escaping into your property. If you have no choice but to dry clothes inside we would always advise that you open your doors or windows in these rooms.
- When cooking, boiling a kettle, taking a shower or bath, ensure that your kitchen or bathroom door are kept closed to prevent steam going into colder rooms which will cause condensation to form.
- When cooking ensure that you cover your pans with a lid to reduce moisture being created from the water boiling. Also ensure you are using an extractor hood if you have one above the cooker or an extract fan if you have one installed. Don’t turn off your extractor fan as soon as you finish cooking - leave it on afterwards to clear the air. There are now extractor fans on the market with intelligent humidity sensors which will speed up when you start cooking or having a shower and slow down once they humidity levels have returned to normal.
- Similar to when cooking in the kitchen, when you are taking a shower or having a bath ensure that you turn on your extractor fan to remove the steam and moisture that is created when running warm water in a cold environment. This will help reduce the amount of condensation that appears on your bathroom windows and walls.
- Portable gas bottles and paraffin heaters produce a lot of moisture, along with a lot of toxic fumes. Not only is this form of heat causing excess condensation in your property, it is also a health and safety hazard which is stated in most tenancy agreements as not allowed in rented flats.
- Many families have house pets and plants which produce a lot of moisture. Make sure you cover up your aquarium or fish tanks to prevent excess moisture. If damp patches start to appear on your walls or you start to notice more surface condensation on your windows and walls near to your house plants then look to move them outdoors.
- If you don’t have an extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen then make sure that you wipe down any cold surfaces when you have been cooking or taking a shower to remove any moisture that may have settled on the surface. This excess moisture in the air sits on the surface and will quickly turn to mould if left untreated.
- Do not overfill your wardrobes or kitchen cupboards. A lack of ventilation and air moisture trapped in warm overfilled cupboards can become a breeding ground for mould as the air is not able to circulate freely inside. You might notice a musty smell or clothes might have a damp feeling to them which is a sure sign that the cupboard is overfilled.
- For the same reason as above, make sure that your furniture is at least 50mm away from the surrounding walls so that air can circulate around the property. Try to ensure that your wardrobes are placed against internal walls in your bedroom which will be less cold than external walls and less likely to cause damp and mould problems.
- Ensuring an adequate amount of heating in your property will improve the internal temperature of surfaces in the house and reduce the likelihood of condensation. Also make sure your home is energy efficient by ensuring you have insulated walls and double glazed windows installed so the heat doesn't escape from the property.
- If you use a room on a regular basis, such as a living room and the weather is not cold outside, open a window slightly to improve the ventilation in the room. Breathing is a major cause of condensation so this will help to improve the ventilation in your property.
- Double glazing, loft insulation and draft proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from a property. Installing insulation will help to keep the temperature of the surfaces inside your property at a higher level.
- Adequate ventilation is essential to allow the moisture to escape from a property before it turns into condensation. Installing an energy-efficient extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom can improve the humidity levels and prevent condensation.
If you are suffering from condensation problems then we may be able to help you. We have over 30 years experience in the industry and work across the whole of the UK to solve condensation and mould problems. We have local ventilation experts available, who can carry out a detailed survey and create a report which will tell you exactly what is causing the problem and how to rectify it.
If you are not sure if the problem is condensation or whether it could be rising damp or due to a leak from the roof or guttering then get in touch to request a free home survey and a local ventilation expert will visit your property at a time to suit you and check whether the problem in your home is due to condensation.