There is always some moisture in the air. Warm air holds much more moisture than cold air. When warm air hits a cold surface it cools down and cannot hold onto all the extra moisture produced by everyday activities, so some of this moisture appears as small droplets of water – most noticeable on windows or where there is little movement of air. If not properly dealt with, this extra moisture can lead to mould growth on walls, furniture, window frames and even clothes. Mould growth can cause paint blistering and wallpaper to peel, it can also rot fabric.
Modern improvements like wall insulation, draught proofing and sealed window units minimise draughts and help keep heat in your home. However, they also stop moisture escaping which means that you must make a little extra effort to avoid condensation problems.
Excessive mould build up gives off tiny seeds called ‘spores’ – these spores float in the air you breathe and can aggravate conditions such as asthma and other allergies. If your property is prone to condensation build up, this can be avoided with daily attention to the problem.
Steps you can take to help reduce condensation
- Dry all windows, window sills, and any other surfaces that have become wet. Ensure you dry the cloth thoroughly; do not dry on the radiator.
- If possible, always hang your washing outside. If this is not possible, you could hang it in the bathroom, with the door closed, and window slightly open for ventilation. Do not dry washing on radiators as this will add to the moisture already in the air and may damage nearby walls.
- If you use a tumble dryer, ensure it is well ventilated to the outside, or that it is of the condensing type.
- Try to ventilate your kitchen when in use, either by opening a window slightly, or using the extractor fan. Try to ventilate both kitchen and bathroom for at least twenty minutes after use.
- If you have one, ensure the trickle ventilation on the window is open at all times.
- Where condensation does occur, wipe down and clean surfaces to stop the build up of mould or damage.
- Look for the cold spots in the house and improve ventilation, or heating, in those areas.
- Do not cover or obstruct air bricks, where fitted.
If your property is prone to condensation, the daily use of a de-humidifier unit can be very beneficial. These come in all shapes and sizes, cost very little to run and draw out the excess moisture from the air helping to keep the condensation under control.