Condensation and mould
Condensation and damp in a home is always a nuisance. But you may find that condensation is caused by things you may do in your day-to-day lives throughout your home.
Condensation, damp and mould can be prevented by heating and ventilating your home accordingly and keeping the fabric of your home warm.
What is condensation?
Condensation is water droplets that form when warm and moist air cools, for example, when it comes into contact with cold surfaces like window panes or bathroom tiles.
It can be caused by cooking, drying your clothes indoors and when bathing. If you don’t ventilate your home, this can cause condensation to occur and, if left untreated, mould.
When you’re in your home, you produce moisture. If you’re cooking you could produce up to 1 litre of moisture per hour, helping to prevent this moisture from building up will help to prevent condensation.
You can watch our video about how to help prevent damp and mould below.
How can I prevent condensation from happening?
- Cover your pots when cooking and use an extractor fan if you have one. If not, open a window to let any steam out of the room
- Don’t leave your kettle boiling. This will help reduce the amount of steam you have
- Don’t use flue-less paraffin and bottled gas heaters
- Shut your kitchen door when cooking. This will help prevent steam going into other rooms.
- Dry clothes outside. If you have to dry them indoors, make sure it’s in a heated and ventilated room and keep a window open to allow moisture to escape
- Don’t dry your washing on radiators
- Avoid tumble dryers that vent into the room.
- Open a window or turn on your extractor fan if you have a bath or shower
- Keep the door shut to your bathroom during and once you have finished having a bath or shower
- To allow air to circulate, don’t overfill any cupboards you may have
- Open windows during the day to allow air to circulate and moisture to leave. Most can be opened and left with a ventilation gap and still be secured
- Rather than keeping one room warm, heat the rest of your home at a constant temperature, above 15 degrees. By not ‘shocking’ your heating system, this method will also help save on your heating bills
- Make sure that there is space between your walls and furniture which will allow air to circulate
- Keep window trickle vents open and never block air vents in your home.
How can I treat mould?
If you find that you have mould, carry out the following:
- Wipe the affected area with water and a cloth
- Use a proprietary mould remover and treatment, but make sure that you follow the manufacturers instructions and it is from a recognised brand. You can buy mould removal products from most DIY stores
- Do not use washing up liquid as a source to clean
- If your clothes are affected, you will need to wash or dry-clean these. They can be stained if not addressed.
- If your carpets are affected, you will need to shampoo these carpets
- Once you have treated the area affected, you may need to re-decorate. Make sure you use a good anti-fungal paint which will help stop mould from returning. If you overlay this paint with ordinary paint or wallpaper, it won’t be as effective
- However, if you do not address the issue of condensation, the mould is likely to re-occur.
Rising and penetrating damp
Rising damp can be caused in different ways. Moisture from the ground could be penetrating the low levels of your property. The waterproof layer of the damp course for your home could be broken, resulting in moisture seeping through. If you have soil blocking the damp course on the outside wall, this can also cause rising damp.
Penetrating damp is caused by water being able to leak into the property from the outside walls. This could be from a leak or blocked gutters.
Mould can be caused by condensation but there are other ways this can happen. There are a couple of things that you can check and report to us:
- The damp in your home could be from a potential roof leak
- If your gutters are blocked or cracked
- Check that there isn’t a leak from an internal or external pipe at your home
- Check that the ground level outside isn’t above your damp course
- Check your drains aren’t blocked.
If you have checked these and you find a fault or you’re unsure, make sure you call us on 0330 1234 034.
I’ve tried these steps but I still have condensation, damp or mould?
Make sure you contact us and let us know more.
We may ask what you have done to help eliminate this in your home. We will then book an appointment for an engineer or surveyor to attend to your home to assess or carry out repairs.
If we think the cause is down to your lifestyle, we'll work with you to identify what might help and more than likely ask you to re-visit the steps above.