When moist air hits a cold surface such as a wall or window, water droplets are formed. This is known as condensation.
Condensation can occur in any property, regardless of its age. The effect of condensation includes a black mould which carries a musty smell (example pictured below).
Ensuring a home is ventilated and has good air circulation helps prevent condensation, as it enables the air to release moisture outside instead of in your home.
Did you know?
● A family of four can add the equivalent of 40 litres of water into the air a week just by breathing.
● Showering, cooking and washing can add 15 to 20 litres a week.
● Drying clothes indoors can add 10 to 15 litres a week.
● Condensation is more likely to form on walls in rooms below 15°C.
● Condensation occurs less where there is good ventilation.
• In colder weather, reduce condensation forming by keeping temperatures between 18-21°C in main living areas when you are home.
• Take care not to obstruct airbricks or air vents.
• Dry washing outside when possible.
• If drying clothing indoors, place clothes on a drying rack in a room where a window can be opened slightly and keep the door closed. Putting clothes directly on a radiator releases moisture into the air faster and is more expensive, as your boiler needs to work harder to heat your home.
• Open windows whilst bathing/washing and aim to leave them open for 20 minutes after if safe to do.
• Use an extractor fan in your bathroom if you have one.
• When running a bath put the cold water in first as this creates less condensation.
• Wipe down windows/mirrors/tiles/shower doors with a super absorbent cloth which can be wrung out in the sink.
• Aim to open windows for 10 minutes a day whenever possible.
Damp is different to condensation. Rising damp can be identified by "tide marks" on the wall (example pictured below), which is created by salt deposits. Black mould cannot grow as a result of this salt, and is a sign of condensation instead.
Penetrating damp can often be identified by blotchy patches, drips and crumbly plaster (example pictured below).
If you identify either type of damp, please contact us.
Download a PDF guide on recognising and preventing condensation here.