When the weather turns cool and damp, we sometimes receive concerns from residents regarding possible damp and condensation at home. In the majority of cases, by making a few simple changes you can manage or prevent these issues going forward. Your homes are all older properties and therefore require slightly different management than newer houses.
Below are a few notes explaining what condensation is, along with some suggestions on how to help reduce it, and attached is a more detailed leaflet which we hope you will find useful but if you have any serious concerns please contact us in the Estate Office – [email protected]
CONDENSATION IN THE HOME: Condensation is caused when water vapour comes in contact with cold surfaces and condenses to form dampness or water droplets. Air can contain varying amounts of water vapour; the amount of water vapour contained in air is related to air temperature, hence the term ‘relative humidity’; warm air can hold more water vapour than cold air. When warm air comes into contact with a colder surface, it cools down and can't retain the same amount of water vapour. The excess water vapour is released and forms condensation. Water vapour is invisible in air and is formed when you carry out normal daily activities in the home such as boiling kettles, cooking, drying clothes, pets, the use of non-flued heating and even breathing. Condensation can be most apparent on cold surfaces e.g., windows, solid external walls and particularly in areas of poor air flow i.e., corners of rooms, behind furniture, in cupboards etc. Like other sources of moisture, condensation is likely to increase heat loss from the building and can be a contributable factor of fungal decay and plaster damage.
HOW TO PRODUCE LESS MOISTURE:
- Leave trickle vents (slotted vents in the window or window frames) open when rooms are occupied even in the winter when your heating is on.
- The kitchen and bathroom extract fans should be used when cooking and showering and left on for a period of time afterwards.
- When using the kitchen or bathroom, try and keep the door closed when possible so that moist air is contained within the room for the extract fan to remove.
- While cooking, try to cover all pots and pans and avoid leaving anything on the boil for too long to help reduce the steam created.
- Furniture should be kept clear of the external walls to allow better air circulation. If unable to keep well clear, keep at least a small gap between the walls and furniture, particularly against ‘cold walls’ and allow ventilation of any cupboards to keep air flow moving.
- Washing should not be dried indoors. If this is not possible, avoid drying laundry on a clothes airer or radiator. If you need to dry clothes indoors, open the window and close the door of the room where the clothes are drying, so that moisture can escape outside rather than circulate around your home. If you use a vented tumble dryer, make sure it is properly vented through an outside wall or an open window or door.
- Keep heating levels within the property at a constant and moderate temperature. When condensation appears, wipe away as soon as possible and then wring the cloth out in a sink. Drying inside the house will just release the moisture again.