There is a difference between damp and condensation in the home. Condensation in any home is normal and unavoidable, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
Condensation is caused by warm, moist air coming into contact with cold surfaces, such as windows and walls. Penetrating damp, which is much less common, is caused by moisture entering the home from an external source, such as leaking plumbing or moisture from the ground.
Condensation can cause a build-up of moisture on cold surfaces, which, if left unattended can lead to mould growth on walls, ceilings, furniture and clothing but there are some simple steps you can take to manage the problem:
- Wipe down your windows and sills each day - don't let the moisture build up. And don't dry the cloth on the radiator - it just puts the moisture back into the air!
- Don't push furniture right up against the walls. Try to leave a small gap of around 5cm to allow air to circulate.
- Don't stuff cupboards full to bursting. Over-filled cupboards lack ventilation and trap warm air, which can lead to mould growth. Also, try to put wardrobes against internal walls.
- It's important to let dry fresh air into your home, so open windows for a short time each day, or maintain a low level of ventilation by using trickle vents in your windows.
- Try to keep your home at a reasonable constant temperature. Heating and cooling makes condensation worse. If possible, use your central heating thermostat to prevent the temperature dropping below 15°c overnight as this helps prevent condensation forming.
- Keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed when cooking or bathing. Keep lids on pans when cooking. And if you have an extractor fan, use it and keep it on for around 10 minutes after you've finished cooking or showering.
- If possible, do not dry clothes indoors. If you have to, put them on a clothes horse in the bathroom and keep the door shut. Also, make sure your tumble dryer is properly vented and that the filters are cleaned and cleared regularly.
Getting rid of mould
Mould can be washed down using a specialist mould cleaner or fungicidal wash: always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you have followed these guidelines and the problem has not improved, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, if possible please include photos of any mould or condensation in your home.