We understand that condensation and mould in your property is a nuisance. However, it can be prevented by heating and ventilating your home properly.
What is condensation
It is the process of air transforming into water droplets (moisture). It happens when air containing water, cools down when it comes into contact with colder surfaces (such as walls or glass).
Why condensation occurs
In England our autumns and winters are generally cold and wet. This significantly increases the moisture content of the air.
Because of this, between October and March the symptoms of condensation in our properties increases. You may notice windows ‘fogging up’ and on some cold surface black mould spots appearing. This is what we refer to as condensation. The 4 main factors are:
- too much moisture in the home
- not enough ventilation
- cold surfaces
- inadequate heating / temperature
Moisture is generated by everyday activities including breathing, so the more people who live in the property, the more moisture will be created. This includes pets and particularly fish tanks.
We have improved our homes by installing insulation in our roofs and walls, installing central heating systems and by fitting PVC double glazing. This helps to keep our properties warmer. However, it also means that any moisture present in the air in the property remains if there is insufficient ventilation. In some of our properties we have fitted extractor fans and / or positive pressure units (these are square boxes usually fitted on landings on the ceiling) which help to force air containing moisture outside.
- Open windows immediately after you have had a bath or shower to remove steam.
- Make sure internal doors are kept closed so this steam doesn’t spread inside the property.
- Dry washing outside if possible. Otherwise, keep the window open in the drying room, the heating on and the door closed.
- If you use a tumble dryer, make sure it has a vent directly to the outside or is a modern condensing dryer.
- When cooking make sure the extractor fans are on (if fitted) and windows open. Keep pan lids on and turn the heat down. Use the minimum amount of water when cooking vegetables.
- Never use bottled gas heaters. These produce massive amounts of moisture and can also produce Carbon monoxide that can kill.
- Do not block up wall or window vents.
- Never turn off passive ventilation units. These are designed to run constantly and only cost around a penny a day to operate.
Dealing with condensation and mould
You can help control the environment you live in to help reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
- If condensation forms on walls or windows, wipe off the excess moisture.
- If you see black mould you should not leave it. Spray the affected areas with a anti-fungicidal spray and wipe it off (this may need to be repeated).
- Leave windows on their trickle vent setting to allow airflow, which helps eliminate build-up of condensation.
- Keep rooms heated. This will stop the air from condensing. The government recommend your rooms are heated to a temperature of between 18 and 21 degrees.
Please see our guide to condensation and mould leaflet for more information.