Tackling condensation and mould in your home

Condensation is water which collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air is in contact with it. In severe circumstances, this condensation can cause moisture to pool, paint to flake, wallpaper to peel and mould to form.

Moisture is created by doing everyday things at home; breathing, showering, cooking, laundry and having the heating on. A five person household puts about 10kg of water into the air each day (without taking into account any additional vapour from heating).

Condensation can be reduced with adequate ventilation. Modern living has meant our homes have become more effectively sealed, for example with double glazing, no chimneys and fitted carpets.

Follow these simple tips to reduce moisture in your home:

  • Cover pans when cooking and don’t leave kettles and pans boiling longer than necessary
  • When drying clothes, hang wet washing outside where possible or if you have to use a tumble dryer, make sure it is vented to the outside. Don’t hang wet washing on radiators all round your home – doing so is very likely to cause condensation problems
  • When taking a bath or shower, keep the door shut and open a window, even if just slightly. If you have an extractor fan – make sure you switch it on before you run the water and leave it running until the steam has gone from the room. If your bathroom surfaces do not dry completely every day, you are likely to have mould growth.
  • Never use paraffin and some types of gas heaters which can be a major cause of condensation problems and are dangerous.

Take action:

  • The bathroom and kitchen are ‘wet rooms’ – keep these doors shut so the wet air can’t spread to the rest of your home
  • At the same time make sure these rooms are well ventilated so the water vapour can escape outside
  • If some rooms are not being used or are on a low heat, it’s a good idea to keep their doors shut
  • Don’t completely draught-proof kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms where condensation is already a problem – you could make the problem worse.

Let your home breathe:

  • Nobody likes draughts but some ventilation is essential to allow wet air to escape. It’s important to open windows to let the water vapour out when washing or cooking, the higher up the window is, the more effective it is at letting water vapour out.

Keep your home warm:

  • In order to reduce condensation, it is best to keep your heating on a low temperature constantly. This will warm your whole home and keep it warm so there are no cold surfaces. This is better than frequently changing your heating from high to off.

Top tips to reduce condensation in your home:

  1. Make sure all wet surfaces dry out completely once a day
  2. Ventilate your home to remove moisture
  3. Heat all rooms in your home