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How Landlords Can Avoid Condensation and Mould in Rental Properties

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How Landlords Can Avoid Condensation and Mould in Rental Properties

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Jun 27, 2022

Ensuring that properties under their control remain in a good state is a key requirement for landlords and other housing providers under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHRS), and a good maintenance regime is important in reducing the number of calls received from tenants needing to report damp and mould problems in their homes.

During the warmer summer months, reports of damp and mould are less of an issue than during the autumn and winter period, however it is also a good time to act in order to avoid problems with condensation damp and mould later in the year.

Why Condensation is a Problem in Rental Properties

The condensation that leads to damp and mould can be a problem in any house, but there are specific challenges with rental properties that can make them more prone to issues.

Condensation and Mould in HMOs

During normal activities around a house, an average person creates about 2 litres of water vapour each day.  In properties that are home to larger numbers of people, such as student housing or Houses of Multiple Occupancy, the amount of water vapour being released into the air can easily exceed 100 litres per week.  At a given temperature, the air can sustain a specific amount of water vapour, so in properties where there are more people present, the amount of water vapour being produced can exceed what the air can hold, and this will condense on windows, walls, and other cool surfaces where it can soak in and create damp patches where mould can grow.

Condensation and Mould in Vacant Properties

Although the majority of moisture in a property is created by the residents, condensation leading to damp and mould can still be an issue in empty properties.  Without heating and the natural airflow created through movement, the air can cool, below normal temperatures meaning that even relatively low volumes of moisture in the air can cause condensation.

It does not take long for mould and mildew to develop which can make a rental property much less appealing to tenants and result in costly repairs.

Ensuring that Tenants are on the lookout for Condensation

Seeing the signs of condensation early is the key step to preventing moud and damp in future.  Ensuring that tenants are aware of the warning signs of condensation and report them quickly will mean that resolving the problem will be easier.

Things to look out for include:

  • Streaming windows and walls
  • Damp areas appearing on walls, (particularly behind furniture and in corners)
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Mould growth on window frames, walls, and ceilings
  • The presence of mildew on soft furnishing
  • A musty smell – this is particularly noticeable when you enter the house from outside, or inside poorly ventilated cupboards

By speaking to tenants about spotting warning signs that could lead to mould in future and ensuring that they keep in regular contact with you, you can act more quickly and avoid expensive redecorating and maintenance bills.

Advising tenants how to reduce condensation

It is the responsibility of the property owner to deal with Condensation and Damp problems, it is important for tenants to do their bit in preventing the problem in the first place.

Key things to consider include:

  • Keeping temperatures constant throughout the day to avoid cold spots developing
  • Avoiding drying clothing indoors or on radiators
  • Using extractor fans when cooking or bathing
  • Placing furniture against exterior walls
  • Keeping lids on pans when cooking

Many landlords choose to install automated fan systems such as the EnviroVent Cyclone 7, which features sensors that measure humidity levels and adjust the fan power to reduce moisture levels below the point where condensation can be a problem.

Effective Long-Term Ways to Prevent Condensation in Rental Properties

Installing whole house ventilation systems such as Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) during routine upgrades to housing stock is the most effective way of avoiding future damp and problems as a result of condensation.  PIV Systems run continually and draw fresh air into the home to replace damp or stale air.  This keeps the humidity levels constantly low and stop condensation.

Although there is an upfront investment in installing PIV systems, it will pay off in the longer term due to lower maintenance costs and has the benefit of creating a heathier environment for tenants.

Find out more

If you are a landlord or other housing provider, contact us today to arrange a free survey of your portfolio to identity any potential damp or condensation problems.  Our local ventilation specialists can provide advice about the most appropriate solution to protect your tenants from the health risks of living in a mould filled environment, as well as helping to maintain the quality of your property portfolio.  Simply enter your postcode below to find your local specialist.

Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

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