Keep Your Home Free From Condensation

You have a duty to minimise levels of condensation within the property, ensuring it is sufficiently heated and ventilated. Condensation on windows or walls must be removed at frequent intervals to prevent damage.

Many people mistake the results of condensation for types of dampness associated with building defects. Tackling the problem promptly and effectively can help prevent further issues developing.

Condensation occurs when warm moist air comes into contact with a cold surface. This is often why your windows, ceramic tiles, pipework and sometimes even walls will appear to run with water.

Lots of activities produce moisture, such as cooking, drying washing, running baths and using portable gas or paraffin heaters. The following steps can help you reduce the moisture in your home and prevent condensation:

  • Cooking. Cover pans and do not leave kettles boiling. Open the kitchen window and keep the door closed.
  • Washing. Dry washing outdoors, if at all possible. Drying clothes indoors will increase moisture levels in your home. Ensure you open the windows if you have to dry clothes indoors. If you have a vented tumble dryer, make sure the pipe goes outside when in use. Self-condensing tumble dryers do not need a vent through an outside wall.
  • Do not use portable gas or paraffin heaters. A litre of moisture will be released into the house for every litre of fuel you burn.
  • Ventilate your home. Make use of trickle vents where they are fitted to your windows. Open your windows every day. Wherever possible, leave one
  • window in each room ajar to allow air to circulate. Try to maintain some ventilation overnight as well, if it is safe to do so.
  • Bathing. When running a bath, run both the hot and cold taps at the same time to reduce the amount of steam in the air. It is wise to fit an extractor fan if you have a shower. Keep the door closed and open the window as soon as you have finished in the bathroom.
  • Furniture. If condensation or mould is apparent, place furniture slightly away from outside walls to allow air to circulate behind. Do not overfill
  • wardrobes and chests of drawers, again to allow air to circulate.
  • Heating. Make sure your home is adequately heated during cold weather. It is better to have the heating on continuously on a low setting than to have short
  • bursts of high heat. This will also save you money.

You may find, in spite of taking these measures, you still get condensation in your home. It is important to make sure you wipe down wet surfaces frequently to prevent timber rotting and mould growth, which can cause respiratory problems, especially in young children or elderly people. Do not brush mould, because this may spread the spores. Wash it with a mould killer or bleach in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. You should dry-clean mouldy clothing or bedding.