Damp and Mould
Damp housing can lead to the growth of mould (and mould feeding mites) on walls and furniture.
This not only looks unpleasant, with the potential to cause considerable damage to wallpaper, wall surfaces, window frames and furniture, but it can also affect health as the mould produces tiny spores and seeds which can irritate the lungs and throat.
Helping you enjoy a warmer healthier home
Below we explain the causes of condensation and ways of avoiding or remedying the problem in the home.
If you’re concerned about your property being damp and mouldy, our fully trained and qualified energy advisors can provide free independent advice to help you identify the cause of of your problem and how to resolve the issue. Where approriate we can provide free home visits and access to grants for insulation and heating.
What Is Condensation?
Condensation is a common source of damp and may be caused by a lack of adequate heating and/or suitable ventilation and excessive moisture in the air.
Air contains a certain amount of water, and the warmer the air the more water it can hold. When the warm air comes into contact with a cold surface, the temperature of the air drops which means it cannot hold as much water and deposits this onto the cold surface.
Where you may find condensation
– Cold Surfaces: Mirrors, single glazed windows and metal framed windows.
– Kitchens and Bathrooms.
– The walls of unheated rooms
– Cold corners in rooms.
– Wardrobes, cupboards and furniture.
How to avoid condensation to prevent damp and mould
- Reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
- Provide appropriate ventilation within the home.
- Increase the heating to raise the temperature of the air and cold surfaces.
- Insulate the building to raise the temperature of cold walls.
Reducing Moisture in the Air
Washing, bathing, cooking and just breathing all produce moisture and these activities are unavoidable, but there are some practical ways to reduce the amount of moisture in the air:
– Lids should be kept on saucepans when cooking.
– Tumble dryers should be vented to the outside.
– Avoid bottled gas and paraffin heaters. Water vapour is released into the room as the gas burns.
– Open a window if you’re creating steam while cooking and make sure that doors to adjoining rooms are closed. Draught proof them to prevent the moisture from spreading throughout the property.
Adequate ventilation in the right places will help reduce condensation. Ventilation provides fresh air for health, to replace moisture-laden air and for heating appliances that require air to burn. Opening windows to reduce condensation won’t necessarily solve the problem as it may increase the risk by reducing the wall temperature, so a balance needs to be found.
Background ventilation can be achieved by installing air bricks or adjustable vents. In bathrooms, kitchens and other rooms that produce heavy amounts of moisture, ventilation can be achieved by opening windows or using extractor fans and keeping internal doors shut.
Simple Guide for Householders
Our simple guide has been produced to help householders understand the causes of condensation and mould and the steps they can take to alleviate the problem.