We’ve all seen it, dewy and dripping after a shower, ruining your wallpaper and causing a stink – literally. But what is condensation, what problems can it cause in your home and how can you combat it? There’s a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the damp stuff, so we’ve together a how-to guide so that you can reduce condensation in your home.
What Causes Condensation?
When warm air meets cold surfaces, and there are high levels of humidity in your home, condensation occurs. It is more common in the cold winter months when people use their central heating and tend to have their windows closed. Also, steam from cooking, washing and clothes drying also act to increase the humidity in the air. These will form droplets in windows, walls and other cool surfaces.
Why’s it a Problem?
If condensation is not dealt with it can be the cause of mould in the home. It is both unattractive and bad for your health. However, do not fear, as, with many things, the key to the problem is in prevention before cure.
How Can You Reduce Condensation in your Home?
1. Good Ventilation
Ensure your home is well ventilated by keeping drip vents open your windows to allow extra airflow. You can also open windows every day. Ensure that your property’s airways, such as chimneys, are clear.
2. Maintain a Constant Temperature
During the winter months, when the central heating is in use, it is a good idea to try to maintain a fairly constant temperature. As condensation results from warm air meeting cold, regulating the temperature prevents the ideal conditions for condensation from occurring. Good insulation and double glazing will help to keep your home steadily heated.
3. Use Extractor Fans
When cooking or creating steam in the bathroom with a shower or bath always use the extractor fan and keep it running for at least 15 minutes afterwards. You can also try to keep steam from spreading through the house by keeping the doors to the kitchen and bathroom closed when in use. If you don’t have extractor fans, then be sure to wipe down surfaces that are covered in moisture after washing and cooking.
4. Line Dry Clothes
Weather permitting, dry your clothes and linen on a line outside and if you have to do the drying inside, be sure to keep that room ventilated. If you use a tumble dryer make sure that it is vented adequately as one load of washing can produce 2 litres of water. It is best if you have the ventilation pipe running outside the building.
5. Let the Air Circulate
Ensure that there is a gap allowed between furniture and walls in your home and do not overfill wardrobes and cupboards. This allows more air to circulate and reduces the risk of it forming condensation and creating a mould problem.
6. Check for Excess Water
Finally survey your home regularly for leaks and ensure that down pipes and guttering are not blocked or damaged, which may lead to excessive wetness on your external walls.