If your home is damp it may be caused by condensation. This section explains how condensation forms and how you can keep it under control.
Condensation mainly occurs during cold weather and appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air. You will find it in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards and often forms on north facing walls.
In cold weather, try to leave some background heating on all day. In order to keep it under control and thus reduce the risk of dampness and mould growth, here are some simple steps you can take:
- Never use a portable gas or paraffin heater, as these produce large quantities of moisture in the air.
- Open windows or use a humidistat-controlled electric fan in the kitchen and bathroom when cooking, washing up, bathing and drying clothes.
- Make sure tumble dryers are vented to the outside as they are a major cause of moisture in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Avoid drying clothes over storage heaters and anywhere else in the property where this would cause dampness.
- Close doors to prevent moisture reaching other rooms, especially bedrooms which are often colder and more likely to get condensation.
- In order to remove some of the moisture from the air, keep a small window ajar or a trickle vent open when using a room.
- Position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls (walls which have a room on both sides) rather than against outside walls.
- Wipe down windows and sills every morning. Wring out the cloth rather than drying it on a radiator.
- Fit condensation channels and sponge strips to the windows, these will collect the condensation and thus avoid damp forming under sills. These items are available from most good Do-it-Yourself shops.
- Remove mould by wiping down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash; make sure it carries a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) ‘approval number’. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely, never mix chemicals, and store out of reach of children.
- Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets.
Remember: by following these simple measures and keeping your home warm and ventilated, the risk of condensation should be reduced. If, after following this advice, you are still experiencing serious condensation or mould growth, the Association can loan you a dehumidifier. If you require a dehumidifier or any further advice please contact your Housing Officer.