At this time of year many tenants make contact with our office reporting, what they believe to be, damp issues at their properties. Upon inspection many of these reports turn out to be black spot mould caused by poor ventilation and heating allowing moisture to settle. Below we have detailed some further information that we hope will help reduce such issues before they become a problem.
What is condensation and what causes it?
Everyday things like cooking, washing, bathing and even breathing causes moisture to be released into the air. The air can only hold a certain amount of water vapour – the warmer it is, the more it can hold. If this is cooled by contact with a cold surface such as mirror, a window or even a cold wall or ceiling then the water vapour will turn into droplets of water – condensation. Keeping an adequate airflow by keeping furniture away from walls will help dry any moisture and also help protect your belongings from damage.
What does condensation look like?
Every home gets condensation at some time – usually when lots of moisture and steam are being produced such as bath times, when cooking meals or drying clothes.
Fish tanks and indoor plants can also give rise to large quantities of moisture in the air.
It is quite normal to find your bedroom windows misted up in the morning after a cold night, which is to be expected and is not indicative of a serious condensation problem.
Should the moisture not be allowed to escape then it can build up and form a blackspot mould, this can be killed with a mould spray or mild bleach solution, but it will return if conditions do not improve.
There are many things you can do to reduce it;
- Dry your washing outside the property whenever you can. You can also hang it in the bathroom, keeping the door closed and the window wide open.
- Never use portable gas bottles or paraffin (flueless) heaters.
- Permanently vent your tumble drier to the outside of your home, using a suitable kit recommended by the manufacturer of the appliance.
- While cooking, always cover pans and don’t leave kettles boiling.
- When a room is in use, keep a small window and/or a trickle vent open.
- Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens.
- Keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed even if they have extractor fans.
- Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes – do not overfill wardrobes – let the air circulate freely inside. For the same reason keep all furniture at least 50mm away from the surrounding wall. If possible, locate wardrobes against internal walls.
- Keep your home warm with insulation, draught proofing and heating: this reduces the risk of condensation.
- A constant, low-level form of heating provides the most economical form of heat and reduces the likelihood of condensation.
Please contact us if you require any further help or assistance.