Damp, condensation and mould

Tips for avoiding condensation

Ultimately, to avoid condensation, you need to produce less water/moisture. You can reduce water/moisture production in your home by:

General

  • Ventilating your home (without causing draughts) - keep trickle vents open at all times, use passive vapour vents if there are no trickle vents, or alternatively open small window/top lights
  • Using the heating system on a regular balanced cycle with all radiators working to all rooms during colder periods. Keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home - this is very important in flats, bungalows, and other homes where the bedrooms are not above a warm living room
  • Not drying laundry on radiators.  Dry washing outdoors if possible, or put it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or extractor fan on
  • Not using bottled gas heaters (Calor etc.) as they produce around 8 pints of moisture from an average-sized gas bottle
  • Allowing space for air to circulate around your furniture. You can place furniture on blocks to allow air to circulate beneath.
  • Opening doors to ventilate cupboards and wardrobes
  • Ensuring extractor fans are automatically humidistat controlled – not solely activated by a light switch
  • Not having airbricks fitted at low levels
  • Using a dehumidifier, which can control the airborne moisture and help reduce this problem; although dehumidifiers will not solve the cause(s) of the condensation
  • Draught proofing of windows and outside doors*

Kitchen

  • Opening windows when cooking
  • Cooking with pan lids on
  • Turning the heat down once the water has boiled
  • Only using the minimum amount of water for cooking
  • Making sure that your tumble dryer is vented to the outside (DIY kits are available for this) or that the tumble dryer is of the new condensing type
  • Not using your gas cooker to heat your kitchen as it produces moisture when burning gas and you will notice the windows misting up
  • Closing the kitchen door when using this room

Bathroom

  • When filling the bath, running the cold water first then adding the hot – it will reduce the steam, which leads to condensation by up to 90%
  • Opening windows when having a shower or bath
  • Closing the bathroom door when using this room

Bedroom

  • Leaving space between the backs of wardrobes and the wall
  • Where possible, positioning wardrobes and furniture against internal walls (i.e. walls which have a room on both sides rather than external walls)
  • Allowing air to circulate round clothes by removing ‘false’ wardrobe backs or drilling breather holes in them as this helps to prevent mildew
  • Not overfilling wardrobes and cupboards as it restricts air circulation

* When draft proofing, ensure that you:

  • Do not block permanent ventilators
  • Do not block unused chimneybreasts – fit a ventilator/air brick
  • Do not draught proof rooms where there is a fuel-burning heater (e.g. gas fire)
  • Do not draught proof windows in bathrooms and kitchens