Condensation is a common issue which thankfully can be prevented and managed. We've got some handy tips to help.
What causes condensation?
Condensation happens when a home is too humid and warm air hits a cold surface. This leads to the air cooling quickly and droplets forming on nearby surfaces such as walls/windows.
There are lots of different causes of condensation. These depend on temperature and activities which happen in the property daily. Condensation occurs most commonly in the colder months. However, it can also happen during warmer times of the year. It happens whenever the air touches a surface which is cooler than the air’s ‘dew point’.
Removing condensation from windows
NHS guidance suggests wiping windows and frames down with soap and water. Be sure to wear a mask and gloves to protect yourself from mould spores. Dry the window off to remove any residual moisture. It’s very important to do this daily in conjunction with other condensation prevention tips.
Condensation is a common part of living in a property but can actually be easily prevented and resolved. Check out our handy tips.
Maintain a consistent temperature: We know that condensation happens when warm air hits a cooler surface so maintaining a consistent temperature helps to warm the surfaces in the home which assists with reducing condensation. Ideally, heating should be kept on throughout the entire house- and not just a few rooms - at a steady temperature. This is important particularly in the colder months.
Increase ventilation: Poor ventilation can lead to condensation in the home. There are a few ways you can improve ventilation.
- Leave windows open
- Choose windows with vents or have vents fitted to your existing windows. This can really help to naturally allow air to transfer outdoors
- Consider fitting vents in walls/doors in rooms which don’t have good ventilation. This could really help the air to circulate better.
Manage tumble dryer use: Tumble dryers tend to release a lot of warm air which can therefore contribute to condensation forming. Vented dryers ideally should have the pipe feeding to the outside of the property (i.e. out the window). This will help to release the moisture outside. If you have a condenser dryer, this can still cause condensation. It’s important that the dryer is in a well-ventilated room with enough space for air to circulate. Make sure that the condensation tank is emptied regularly.
Where have you placed furniture? Believe it or not, furniture location is important in preventing condensation. Here’s why. If you have furniture placed against an external wall moist air can get trapped, hit the cold wall and result in condensation. It’s important to leave a gap between furniture and walls – especially external walls to avoid this happening. Leaving a gap between furniture and walls helps air to circulate throughout the room.
Avoid drying clothes indoors: Drying clothes indoors on an airer or over radiators adds moisture to the air which can lead to condensation. It might surprise you to know that drying clothes inside produces 9 pints of moisture. If you do need to dry clothes indoors, dry the clothes in a bathroom ensuring that the extractor fan is on and the door is closed. If you don’t have an extractor fan, opening the window will help in allowing moisture to escape.
Use a dehumidifier: Dehumidifiers are appliances which help to reduce the amount of moisture in the air and maintain the humidity levels in your home. Dehumidifiers are relatively inexpensive ways to reduce moisture in the home.
Can condensation lead to mould?
Yes, condensation can definitely lead to mould. After the formation of the droplets and dampening of surrounding walls caused by condensation, mould can start growing as small black dots. The spots can be so tiny that they may not even be notices until the mould develops.
Specs of mould can be easily cleaned and removed with soap and water or mould remover spray. When the mould has been removed, the best thing to do is to make changes in the home to prevent condensation in the first place.
Finally, here are some very common activities that place in our homes every day and just how much moisture is produced.
Cooking/using the kettle - 6 pints of moisture produced
Bathing/showering - 2 pints of moisture produced
Washing clothes - 1 pint of moisture produced
Drying clothes - 9 pints of moisture produced