Condensation and mould
Why do I get condensation?
Everyone’s home gets condensation at some time — usually when a lot of moisture and steam is being produced. This can occur when you are cooking or bathing or if air is not able to circulate freely. When this damp air comes into contact with a cold surface such as walls, ceilings, mirrors or window pane it condenses back to water. Try breathing on to a mirror or spoon – it’s the same effect! Too much condensation in your home encourages mould and mildew growth and unsightly black stains to develop on your walls and in corners. The presence of condensation and mould growth in your home does not mean that there is anything wrong with the building.
This page provides you with some practical advice on how to manage the condensation in your home so that you can help prevent mould and mildew from growing.
The warmer your home is, the more water vapour the air can hold and therefore, the less chance you have of getting condensation.
Condensation is usually found on windows, in the corners of rooms or behind furniture close to external walls.
Condensation is generally a winter problem and noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces (such as windows or tiles) but can form on any surface such as furnishing, curtains and clothing. It may not be noticed until mould growth occurs.
Watch the following video from the Energy Saving Trust to see how you can manage and reduce condensation:
What can you do to help reduce condensation?
- Cover pots and pans when cooking
- Dry clothing outdoors
- If you use a tumble dryer please ensure it is vented to the outside and if considering buying one, consider a self condensing model
- If you do have to dry clothes indoors ensure it’s in a well ventilated room such as the bathroom with the fan running to remove the moisture
- Avoid using bottled gas heaters, not only are they not allowed under the terms of your tenancy agreement but they produce a large amount of moisture, almost six litres per day, into the atmosphere
- Don’t dry your clothes over radiators or heaters
- Ventilate to reduce moisture: Use extractor fans when bathing and cooking, or open a window when finished until the windows are clear
- Keep air vents and extractor fans clear
- Allow space for air to circulate around furniture especially against outside walls
- If possible, keep your heating on a low setting during the day rather than high levels for short periods of time during the morning and evening. This will keep your home warm most of the time and avoid extreme changes in temperature
- If fitted, use the thermostat controlled radiator valves as this will help control the heating in each room
- DO NOT block radiators with furniture or curtains
- DO NOT use paraffin or propane gas heaters as they produce large amounts of moisture and are generally not allowed under the terms of your tenancy agreement.
The best way of tackling mould is to reduce condensation levels in your home before a problem starts!
Managing mould growth
It is quite normal to find your bedroom windows misted up in the mornings. To control it, be sure to wipe down any moisture on your windows and window sills every morning and wring the cloth out rather than drying it on a radiator.
Don’t be tempted to just paint over mould, it will regrow if it is not treated first! When painting kitchens and bathrooms you should consider using mould inhibiting paint available from most DIY stores.
Mould on washable surfaces can be wiped down with a fungicidal wash available from most DIY stores. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
Customers are responsible for ensuring condensation does not become a problem in their homes and cause damage to the property or their belongings.
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