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
- Produce less moisture – by covering pans when cooking, drying clothes outdoors and by not using paraffin heaters or flue-less bottled gas heaters.
- Let fresh air in – open your windows when you can and allow the air to circulate behind furniture.
- Heat your home a little more – keep a low background heat in your rooms by using the thermostat on your heater.
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.
Condensation is not the only cause of damp
‘Penetrating damp’ is caused by moisture coming into the house through leaking or cracked pipe work, a damaged roof, blocked guttering, gaps around window frames and cracked or defective rendering and brick work. All these problems can be remedied.
‘Rising damp’ is due to a defective (or non existent) damp course. This will leave a ‘tide mark’ 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 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 stand-by.
- 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 ratings 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.