Managing condensation and mould in your home
Moisture in the air will form condensation (droplets of liquid water) when it comes into contact with a cold surface such as a windows or outside walls. We all get condensation on our windows from time to time, but this isn’t necessarily a problem if it clears up quickly.
Problems start if the water builds up to the point where it starts to cause damage. If it’s building up somewhere other than on the windows, you may not notice until your wallpaper starts to peel or black mould starts to grow. This is most likely to happen in places that are colder than the rest of the house, such as exposed corners and where there is a gap in the insulation, and where the air can’t circulate freely, such as behind furniture.
If you have mould growing, clean it off straight away to minimise health risk, but you also need to fix the underlying problem to stop it coming back. If you don’t have any leaks or rising damp issues then the problem is almost certainly condensation, and there are several things you can do to help avoid this problem:-
1. Reduce the amount of moisture produced in the first place by keeping lids on pans when cooking, drying clothes outside when possible, and if you use a tumble dryer, making sure it’s vented. Whilst using a tumble dryer you should always open a window and make sure all window vents are open
2. Ventilate your home so the moist air leaves the house – always use extractor fans when cooking, showering or bathing, leave any window vents open, and do not block vents.
3. Make sure air can circulate by leaving gaps between furniture and the wall.
4. Try to avoid cold spots – if there’s a gap between your wall insulation and your loft insulation, for example, try to get this fixed as it will attract condensation and possibly mould.
5. If you have a build up of condensation and mould on windows you should dry these regularly and clean windows regularly. This will reduce the amount of mould spores.
6. You should heat and vent your home daily, even in the winter months.
7. If showering always try to open a window, this will reduce the steam travelling throughout your house.
8. Never dry clothes on a radiator.