After a heatwave, and the long hot summer – the wet weather is here once again.
With Autumn in full swing and winter on the way, it’s the time of year when condensation, damp and mould begin to set in – and they will only get worse over the coming months. Apart from looking unsightly, they can cause lasting damage to a property, and can exacerbate health problems for those living there.
This year, don’t let mould ruin your home or investment property – keep it dry and comfortable with this guide to controlling condensation.
The Risks of Condensation
Condensation is bad news whether you are a homeowner, a tenant or a landlord. If left unchecked, condensation leads to dampness. This then leads to mould and mildew on walls, furniture and fabrics, and can also cause wooden window frames to rot.
Damp also produces the perfect conditions for the growth of nasty bacteria – and is the ideal environment for house dust mites to breed in. When people breathe in these contaminants, they can cause respiratory infections, and make the symptoms of allergies, asthma and bronchitis much worse.
The Causes of Condensation in your home
Condensation is caused by a range of different factors:
Moisture build up
Lots of everyday activities increase moisture levels. Bathing, showering, washing up, cooking and boiling the kettle all produce steam, which then condenses into water droplets. If you’re drying clothes inside, the water evaporates, before condensing elsewhere. Even breathing adds moisture to a room!
Moisture builds up in your home when it has nowhere to go. This is one of the reasons why condensation tends to be worse during the winter – as we tend not to open the windows as much.
Cold, hard surfaces attract condensation – which is why it tends to form on windows and windowsills, and why mould tends to form on outside walls and in cold corners.
Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. That’s why condensation forms in colder rooms in your home, like back bedrooms and bathrooms. If the rest of your house is warm, but one room is cold, that will make the problem worse.
Prevention and treatment – First Steps
We’ve included some thorough steps to prevent condensation later in the article, but before you start working your way through the list, there are things you can do to prevent condensation becoming a problem in the first place.
Prevention starts with removing moisture from problem areas, like windows, window sills and wet surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom every morning. Wipe them down with a dry cloth, then wring this out – don’t try to dry the cloth on a radiator, as you’ll only recirculate the moisture around your home!
If mould is starting to form on surfaces or walls, then treat it with a fungicidal spray cleaner, before painting using a fungicidal paint (or fungicidal wallpaper paste) For mildew on curtains, the best solution is dry cleaning, though you may be able to remove minor mildew in the washing machine. Shampoo carpets.
4 Effective Ways to Cut Condensation and mould
1. Cut the amount of moisture you’re making
Hanging washing outside where possible, or leaving the window open while you dry inside will help to reduce the amount of moisture you’re making. If you use a tumble dryer, ensure that the extractor is on, and it is properly vented to outside.
Other ideas include cooking with pan lids on, and running cold water before hot when bathing or showering, which significantly reduces steam.
2. Improve the ventilation
Taking steps to remove moisture from the air is one of the best ways to tackle condensation. Always use the extractor fans when cooking or bathing, and open windows regularly to let the warm, wet air out.
If possible, create a through draft to encourage circulation – open a window downstairs, and another upstairs for half an hour, then open all the doors to ventilate your whole home.
3. Tackle cold surfaces
This one is for the landlords – draughts and poor insulation are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to condensation. Sealing up windows properly (and installing double glazing) and investing in proper loft and wall insulation will make a huge difference.
4. Set the right temperature
Keeping your home warm will help to cut condensation – and maintaining a fairly constant level of heat is the best way to keep moisture levels down.
If this has you clutching your wallet in fear and eyeing up the meter, then it may be time to invest in some better insulation (see point 3) to keep the costs down.
Well maintained homes to rent in Hull from CJ Property
At CJ Property, we specialise in matching responsible tenants with high quality, well maintained (warm and dry!) rental property across Hull and East Yorkshire.
Whether you’re a tenant looking for a warm and comfortable dream home, or are a property investor/landlord that wants, dependable, honest and value for money professional management – our experienced, locally based team is here to help.
Call 01482 645270 today for further information, or to discuss your requirements with our team today.