Whether you live in a terrace house, detached, caravan, or an apartment, finding ways to prevent condensation can help reduce the risk of mould or damp in your home.
What is condensation?
Condensation is the opposite of evaporation. Water vapour changes to liquid water, rather than that liquid become a gas (think about your kettle boiling or water in a pan on a hob).
In your home, condensation tends to occur when the temperature decreases, which is why you’re more likely to see condensation during the winter and when you wake up in the morning. When moisture cools down as it hits a colder surface, water appears. Condensation is caused by high levels of moisture in the air, alongside the temperature in your home, and how cold the hard surfaces are (such as windows).
You might spot this in your home in a number of different ways. A condensation problem could appear as:
- Wallpaper peeling
- Unpleasant or musty smell
- Damp to touch furniture or walls
- Water droplets on surfaces, particularly walls or windows.
How to treat the effects
Although condensation is not a catastrophic problem, it can cause many issues around your home, especially if left to worsen. Excess water on walls, windows, and other hard surfaces can lead to mould around window frames, in corners of rooms, and hidden behind furniture. This can lead to health problems for you and your family.
To tackle these effects, ensure you remove any of the excess moisture with a sponge or even a window cleaner tool. If you have already noticed mould in your home, clean this thoroughly with mould remover spray.
How to prevent it
To prevent the condensation from worsening, there are a number of processes you can follow, as there’s not one single issue that can cause condensation:
- Don’t overfill wardrobes or cupboards, as if there is a lack of air circulation and ventilation in your home, this can cause mould to grow.
- Open windows or use extractor fans when showering, bathing, or using the kitchen to cook. Steam from hot water and heat from ovens / hobs can cause excess moisture to be produced. Even after cooking or showering, ensure you leave windows open or extractor fans on, as this will help alleviate some of the moisture.
If appropriate, dry clothes outdoors. Understandably, this will be difficult for those living in apartments or houses without gardens. However, by ensuring you have windows open and are drying clothes in a well-ventilated area, you reduce the risk of excess condensation.
Similarly, make sure that your washing machine and / or tumble dryer have enough ventilation as condensation can occur from these appliances too. Keep furniture away from walls where possible. Even a small gap between the wall and furniture can decrease the risk of mould growing and keeps air circulating.
Insulate your home properly, whether that’s through your attic insulation or double glazed windows. If you notice that the condensation appears to sit inside your double glazing, then you need to get this repaired, as a broken unit can disrupt the effectiveness of the insulation benefits.
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