What is Condensation?
Condensation is dampness occurring when air laden with water vapour cools on contact with a cold surface, you notice it when you see your breath on cold days or in the bathroom on mirrors or tiled surfaces.
Condensation frequently occurs during cold weather and appears on cold surfaces and in areas of the dwelling where there is little movement of air.
Is Your Dampness Condensation?
Does it leave a tidemark? – If so, it is not condensation and you should trace the source of a leak or dampness from rain seeping through windows or rising dampness due to a defective or missing damp-proof course.
How to Minimise Condensation
Produce Less Moisture
Ordinary daily activities produce a lot of moisture often very quickly.
Ventilate to Remove Moisture
- Cover boiling pans and turn kettles off after use.
- Avoid paraffin and portable gas heaters as these add moisture to the air in the dwelling.
- Dry washing outdoors or in the bathroom with the door closed, window open or fan turned on.
- Vent tumble dryers using proper vent kits or use a self-condensing type.
Keep Your Home Warm
- Keep a small window or trickle ventilator open when the room is in use.
- In particular, ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when you are using them.
- Prevent the damp air spreading by keeping kitchen and bathroom doors closed when the room is in use.
- Open curtains for at least 4 or 5 hours each day, it allows moisture to get through any window vents.
- Do not completely draught-proof windows in kitchens and bathrooms especially.
- Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes, do not put too many things in them so preventing air circulation. Where possible put them on internal walls.
Dealing with Mould Growth
- Heat your home at low levels for a long time rather than high levels for short periods; this will ensure that fewer cold surfaces form in the home. Heat the home even when there is no one there.
- Keep background heating on all the time during the winter months.
- Heat using a dry heat source, for example gas central heating or electric storage heaters or a fitted gas fire. Do not use paraffin or portable gas heaters.
- If mould starts to grow on walls, clean with a mould-killer spray
- Try to ensure that condensation does not occur on a regular basis.
- Mould on washable surfaces can be removed with a fungicide solution readily available from stores.
- Other items such as fabric materials can often be washed, although this may not always remove the mould staining.
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