With the utility prices going through the roof, and the country gripped by rain, rain, and more rain, conditions for condensation & mould are ripe meaning tenants will need to do more than usual this winter to stop condensation & mould from building-up.
Condensation is generally caused by insufficient heat & ventilation, and excess moisture. Some of the top causes of condensation and black mould are:
1) Drying Clothes Indoors. Drying clothes in the winter can be a real headache. Consider using the tumble dryer on a cheap off-peak tariff, or purchasing a heated airer. If you’re drying clothes always ventilate the room. Where you can, try and dry clothes in the bathroom where you’ll have tiled walls and moisture resistant paint. Never put your clothes on the radiator or wall heater.
2) Showering with the bathroom door open. When showering, always have the bathroom door closed – particularly en-suite bathrooms – and always ventilate the room. When you’ve showered, open the window to clear any steam. Always have the extractor on when you shower – they can be noisy, but they’re essential. Make sure they aren’t clogged with dust so they can work effectively.
3) Cooking without covering pans and extracting steam. Reduce the amount of steam produced when cooking by covering pans, and don’t have water pans and kettles boiling too long. Always use the extractor and if you’re boiling or steaming food open windows where practical to keep moisture down.
4) Keeping windows closed. If you have trickle vents they’re there for a reason and should be open. Where possible also try and keep your windows locked on the vent setting when you’re home. If the weather and security allows, open your windows as much as you can to keep fresh air circulating your home.
5) Breathing! Just by being alive you add around a pint and a half of moisture to a property everyday. When you go to bed you exhale over half a pint of moisture when you sleep, and if you’re windows are closed and there’s no ventilation that moisture will head straight for the coldest part of the room – normally the windows and the reveals around the frame. If possible, sleep with your windows locked on vent and always open your windows to ventilate the room when you first get-up. Consider purchasing disposable dehumidifiers (or even try the Blue Peter method and make one or two yourself with a jam-jar and moisture crystals)
Unlike Victorian or Edwardian homes with open-fires in every room, modern homes are virtually hermetically sealed, but some ventilation is required to keep the air fresh and get rid of the moisture produced. Modern insulation is helping to lower bills, but homes still need fresh air to avoid condensation. Trickle vents and air bricks are there for a reason, and should never be blocked off. Keep doors closed in rooms like kitchens and bathrooms when in use. Don’t have furniture too close to the wall, allow some space between the back of a wardrobe for air to circulate. If you have a ground floor bedroom, don’t store belongings under the bed – the space should be clear to help air circulate. If there is a problem with cold air and musty smells, leave the doors on wardrobes and cupboards open.