The property preservation specialists - for over 50 years
Condensation can be a problem in both period and brand new homes, and is often mistaken for something more sinister, like rising damp. However, in many cases condensation is both easy to fix and easy to prevent. So how does it happen and what can you do to avoid it?
How does condensation form?
Air contains moisture, and warm air holds more moisture than cold air. When moisture-packed warm air comes into contact with a colder surface, it cools down quickly and releases the water, which turns into liquid droplets. If left, this surface moisture will quickly turn to mould.
Condensation is not normally a problem in summer, but in winter, when we have the heating on and the windows closed, humidity (or the amount of water in the air) is higher. As the temperature outside drops, condensation will often form on windows and walls. If this moisture isn’t dealt with immediately, mould will start to grow. As well as looking terrible, black mould like this can cause health problems.
How can I get rid of condensation?
Firstly, make sure you wipe up condensation moisture wherever you see it build up. If black mould has started to form, scrub this away, wearing rubber gloves and using either a specialist cleaning spray or one-part bleach to four parts of water.
To prevent condensation build-up in future, you could consider buying a dehumidifier, which uses a electric fan to remove excess moisture from the air.
Fitting (and using) an extractor fan in the kitchen and the bathroom will ease the problem. Check your home is properly insulated, and consider upgrading to double-glazed windows if you don’t already have them.
Other tips to avoid condensation which don’t require any investment include:
- Let the fresh air in by opening windows for a few hours each day to provide ventilation.
- When cooking, keep lids on saucepans and use your extractor fan.
- Always open a window whilst showering or having a bath.
- Don’t dry clothes on radiators.
- Leave a small gap between walls and furniture.
- In wardrobes and other small spaces, hang a few small dehumidifier bags to collect excess moisture.