Damp and condensation
Did you know?
Some damp is caused by condensation. This can lead to a growth in the mould that appears as a cloud of little black dots.
Condensation occurs when moist air comes into contact with a colder surface like a wall, mirror etc. The air can’t hold the moisture and tiny drops of water appear. It also occurs in places where the air is still, like the corners of rooms or behind wardrobes and other furniture.
How to reduce condensation at home
Here are some tips to help you prevent condensation in your home:
- Produce less moisture by covering pans while you’re cooking and drying clothes outdoors. If you need to dry clothes indoors, create some ventilation by opening a window.
- Let fresh air in by opening your windows to let air circulate around your home and moving your furniture away from radiators and external walls.
- Heat your home a little more by keeping your heating on at a lower temperature for longer periods of time.
- Stop moisture spreading by using an extractor fan when you are cooking or in the shower/bath, and keep your kitchen and bathroom doors closed. Wipe condensation from windows each morning to prevent mould.
Other actions you can take include fitting condensation channels and sponge strips (available from DIY shops) to windows. These catch dripping condensation and prevent the build-up of water. If you wipe down windows and sills every morning, this will help, but be sure to wring out the cloth rather than dry it on the radiator.
The difference between damp and condensation
Damp occurs when a fault in the building’s basic structure lets water in from the outside. If you believe you are experiencing damp issues, please call 0800 072 6308 and a repairs inspector will attend to carry out an inspection.
Condensation is not the only cause of damp
‘Penetrating damp’ is caused by moisture coming into the house through leaking or cracked pipework, a damaged roof, blocked guttering, gaps around window frames and cracked or defective rendering and brickwork. All these problems can be remedied.
‘Rising damp’ is due to a defective (or non-existent) damp course. This will leave a ‘tidemark’ about a metre above the floor.
Tips for lower energy bills
- Keep the oven door shut as much as possible; every time you open it, nearly a quarter of the heat escapes.
- Food in the oven cooks faster when the air flows freely, so avoid putting foil on the racks.
- Don’t leave your phone on charge all night. It only needs a couple of hours- and don’t leave the TV and other kit on standby.
- Be a friend to your freezer. Defrost it regularly to help it run more efficiently.
- When boiling water, only fill the kettle with as much as you’ll actually use (but make sure you cover the metal element at the base).
- When buying a new TV or other home appliances, look out for the energy rating labels and remember: the bigger the appliance, the more energy it uses.
- Sleep tight. Make sure all the lights are turned off when you go to bed, or use a low-wattage night light if you do need to leave one on.
- Turn your heating down by one degree. You’ll hardly notice the change in temperature, but it’ll make a big difference to your heating bill.