It’s that time of year again where it feels as though the ground will never be dry and we may never see blue sky again. As we crank up the heat indoors to compensate for the cold, damp outdoors, our homes might start to pay the price. Condensation affects lots of homes, particularly older ones which have been double glazed. If you notice water collecting on the inside of your windows, you spot mould on the windowsill, behind sofas, in corners, or in the bathroom, then you have a condensation problem. Don’t panic! It is fairly easy to deal with, with a few tweaks in your normal routine.
- Ventilation is the key to preventing condensation. Ideally, you want to keep air moving through your house, and opening windows is the perfect way to do this. However, this can be counterproductive. So, do what you can: shower with the door shut and the fan on, put your extractor fan on high when you cook, and put a lid on boiling pans to stop steam from escaping. Keep internal doors open to keep the air moving.
- Dehumidifiers come in all shapes and sizes and are relatively cheap. They literally remove water particles from the air and can be a godsend for homes plagued by condensation. Invest in a few small dehumidifier units and put them in the corners most affected.
- Slow and steady heating can help to reduce condensation. If you are trying to conserve fuel, you may be tempted to whack the heat on high for short periods of time, but this sudden temperature change can cause water vapour in the air to turn into water, which will lead to mould. Lower your thermostat and keep your heating on for longer; this will not only reduce condensation, but it is more efficient, too.
- Check the guttering and drainage. Why is it that so many home maintenance issues seem to come back to guttering?! If your guttering isn’t working properly, water could be sitting on the walls of the outside of your home. Cold, wet walls can create moisture when heated, which can lead to mould in addition to other potentially serious damp issues.
- Dry outside. If you have condensation issues, the last thing you want to do is bring in more water. Don’t be tempted to hang wet washing on the radiator, dry it outside or, if you must, use a (well ventilated) tumble dryer.
If you notice damp or mould, it could be part of a bigger problem. Get in touch with a damp specialist to diagnose the issue and get professional advice. For more useful information, follow us on Twitter or Facebook or, if you have a specific question, just Ask A Trader.