Condensation in your home can be a cause of damp and lead to unsightly black mould. Aside from the risk to the fabric of your home, damp and mould from condensation can also lead to health problems including triggering allergies and making asthma worse.
To reduce the problem of condensation in your home, you need to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. There are several easy steps that you can take to do this:
One of the simplest ways to reduce the amount of moisture in your home is to avoid drying clothes indoors. Moisture evaporating from clothes as they dry or dripping onto the floor will condense on walls and windows. If you are unable to dry clothes outdoors, you should use your bathroom with the door closed and windows open.
A single load in your tumble dryer can release 2 litres of water into the air as steam. By ensuring that your dryer vents outside your house, you can prevent this moisture from condensing on cold walls and water and contributing to damp problems.
Your kitchen is one of the rooms that contribute the most moisture in your home. When cooking food, you should ensure that the doors are closed to prevent the moist air from going into colder rooms where it will cause condensation to form.
Keeping a lid on pans when cooking is more energy efficient as less heat is lost, and it also reduces the amount of moisture that is released into the air as steam. If you have an extractor fan or hood in your kitchen, you should ensure that this is running when you cook. Your extractor fan should continue to run for 10-15 minutes after you finish cooking as there will still be moisture present in the air.
If you take a hot bath or shower, steam will form in your bathroom that can escape into the rest of the house if the doors are open and cause damp in other rooms. Make sure that you close your bathroom door when using hot water to keep as much moisture in the bathroom as possible
Using an extractor fan when taking a bath or shower will remove steam and moisture from your bathroom and vent it outdoors. This will immediately reduce the amount of condensation that forms in the bathroom itself and reduce the amount of moisture that can escape into the rest of your home.
Using a decent sized bathmat will help to avoid saturating bathroom floors when you are getting out of the bath or shower. The bathmat will help soak up some of the moisture, helping to reduce the condensation in the room.
Adequate ventilation is the best way to reduce condensation. When air is moving around the house, there is less time for moisture to condense on surfaces which will help to reduce damp. Fitting extractor fans in wet rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms is one of the most effective steps you can take to reduce condensation.
Whole house ventilation systems are also available which work throughout your entire home rather than in selected rooms. These are much more effective overall at tackling condensation.
Maintaining a consistent level of heating in your home will improve the temperature of walls and other surfaces where condensation can form. Central heating from your boiler is more efficient than individual heating in each room. You should avoid paraffin or portable gas heaters, as both produce a lot of moisture along with toxic fumes.
Constantly using your heat will increase energy bills, to avoid heat loss, you should consider what steps you can take to improve your home insulation. There are one off costs for improvements like double glazing, loft insulation and draught proofing, but grants are available in some cases to reduce the amount that these improvements will cost.
A lack of ventilation coupled with the moisture in the air trapped in warm overfilled cupboards can become a breeding ground for mould as the air is not able to circulate freely inside. A musty smell is a sure sign that the cupboard is overfilled.
Make sure that your furniture is at least 50mm away from the surrounding walls so that air can circulate more easily. Placing wardrobes against internal walls means that the temperature in the wardrobe will be slightly warmer and help reduce damp and mould problems.
On warm days, letting fresh air into your home can help improve ventilation. If you use a room regularly and the weather is not cool, opening windows slightly will help keep air moving. One of the biggest causes of condensation is moisture from our breathing, so ensuring fresh air into your most used rooms will help to avoid condensation.
If you do not have an extractor fan in your kitchen or bathroom, try and keep on top of moisture by wiping down cold surfaces after you cook or bathe. This can help to reduce the amount of moisture that can form and will also reduce the risk of mould being able to grow.
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