Posted on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
During the cold season we all want to keep warm and opening the windows to let some fresh air in, is probably not top of your wish list. The problem is, that good ventilation is even more important when it’s cold.
Condensation is the most common form of dampness in the home. The warning signs are peeling wallpaper, damp patches on walls and moisture on windows. Without treatment or measures to avoid further condensation it could lead to mouldy walls, curtains and upholstery. Not only does the black mould look unsightly, but it can also cause health problems. Remember, just by breathing we release moisture into the air.
Here are seven tips to help you to reduce the moisture in your home and avoid condensation.
Open your windows at least once a day to ventilate the rooms, whatever the weather. We all need fresh air and so do your rooms, and 5-10 minutes will work wonders. Keeping the drip vents in your windows open will also help the airflow. If you actually see condensation on your windows, there is almost certain to be condensation in the walls and elsewhere too.
Try to maintain a constant temperature in your home, especially in the winter. When cold air comes into contact with warm air, moisture is released, so if the temperature is the same throughout the home, damp air will not be a problem.
Whenever you are cooking, have the lids on all pots and pans to keep the moisture inside. Without lids the moisture will rise in the form of steam and you will have condensation on any cold surfaces. The moisture is always there even if you can’t see it.
Have your extractor fan on high to remove any steam that does escape from cooking pots and pans. Keep it on for a while longer than the cooking time as all the steam will not have been removed even if you can’t see it. If you don’t have an extractor fan or for extra ventilation keep the kitchen window open.
When taking a bath or shower have an extractor fan on and/or a window open, to stop condensation forming on the walls. Again leave it on for a while longer. Keep the door closed for as long as possible so that the damp air doesn’t escape to the rest of the house.
Unless you use a tumble dryer, it is best to dry wet washing outside. If you have a dryer, be sure the ventilation pipe goes outside or that the window is open if it is a condensation dryer. When wet things do have to be dried inside, keep the door closed and the windows open to avoid any damp air remaining in the house.
Always leave a small gap (50mm) between your furniture and the walls, so that air can circulate. If the air gets trapped it could condense and result in black mould on the walls.
If you are buying a house, damage from condensation might not yet be visible to you, however, if you haven’t already done so, getting a Homebuyer survey or a Building survey done by a reputable RICS qualified surveyor will bring any problems to light.
The best plan of action once you move into any property is to take steps to prevent condensation, but it is never too late to start. Keep these tips in mind and your home will remain condensation-free!