A guide to condensation, damp and mould
Five steps to reducing condensation and mould growth
1. Produce less moisture
Consider these ways to help reduce moisture within your home:
- dry clothes outdoors if possible - avoid drying clothes indoors or if you have to, dry them on a clothes airer with suitable ventilation
- vent tumble driers to the outside (never into the home) or buy a condensing type
- cover pans when cooking
- do not use paraffin or gas bottle heaters as they produce large amounts of water vapour
2. Remove Excess Moisture
Always wipe the windows and windowsills of your home every morning to remove condensation - just opening the window is not enough.
In cold weather the best way to keep rooms warm and avoid condensation is to keep low background heat on all day rather than short bursts of high heat. Good heating controls on your radiators, an independent room thermostat and a timer will help control the heating throughout your house and manage heating costs. Consider insulation (roof, cavity - wall or external wall insulation), draught-proofing windows and doors, and installing double or secondary glazing.
Finding a suitable balance between warmth and ventilation is important and can be very effective. By opening windows or ventilating your home it may appear that you are losing some heat, but what you are actually doing is allowing warm moisture-laden air to escape and replacing it with cool dry air from outside. Dry cool air is actually cheaper to heat than warm moist air! Many people who have double-glazing installed experience problems with condensation and mould growth that they did not experience with their old draughty window frames. However, by using trickle vents or opening windows slightly, then the necessary ventilation can be achieved.
Insulating and draught-proofing will help keep your home warm.
- insulate the loft to a depth of 300mm
- consider secondary or double glazing
- consider cavity wall insulation or internal dry lining
- draught-proof windows and external doors - when draughtproofing, do not block permanent ventilators or rooms requiring ventilation